Big news in the world of major labels today, as we reported a while back Universal’s £1.2billion takeover bid of British label EMI had been passed to the European Commission for one final OK which today they have finally been granted, however there were some big clauses implemented upon the companies.
Parlophone, which plays home to the likes of David Bowie, Coldplay, Lily Allen, Tinie Tempah, Gorillaz and Kylie Minogue has to be divested, although an exception to that has been given to The Beatles catalogue both as a group and their solo endeavors. Also affected will be independents such as Bella Union and Kitsune both of whom have their marketing handled by Co-operative which will also be sold off in the deal.
Now! That’s What I Call Music, a joint venture from both labels prior to the takeover is also affected, Universal must now sell on EMI’s 50% stake in the lucrative compilation series.
A spokesperson for the European Commission told the BBC, "The very significant commitments proposed by Universal will ensure that competition in the music industry is preserved and that European consumers continue to enjoy all its benefits," EU competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement.
"Competition in the music business is crucial to preserve choice, cultural diversity and innovation" he continued. "In this investigation, we have paid close attention to digital innovation, which is changing the way that people listen to music."
EMI had been struggling for a while and been subject of many a takeover rumour before Universal finally stepped in to save the iconic label.