The decision means that Sony/ATV’s group will avoid entering into a lengthy Phase II investigation in Brussels, contrasting Universal’s proposed £1.2bn bid for EMI Music, which faces inquiries until September.
Sony/ATV will only need to sell of a small number of assets to satisfy the commission. It has made a commitment to shed the global rights to EMI’s Virgin and Famous UK music publishing catalogues, as well as a few contemporary songwriters.
Impala’s executive chair Helen Smith said: “It sounds like the worst possible result for European writers and publishers as well as anyone who needs to rely on fair terms to access music.”
Recently leaked documents suggested that Sony/ATV could slash as many as 60% of the 515 staff at EMI Publishing but the company’s chairman Marty Bandier has issued a statement on the matter saying that, while reductions in the number of employees on both sides will happen, the exact numbers are not yet final.
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