So, yesterday UMG finished dealing with regulators and closed their EMI deal. The worst aspect for me is I have to edit my Major labels page on the web site, I don’t think it makes much difference otherwise. For the last two decades and especially since 2000 the Major labels have acted together and generally taken their lead from UMG.
What is the competitive range of Major label business behaviour regarding iTunes, Spotify or BBC Radio One? They all play exactly the same. Who tries to undercut the others on Pandora? None. Which Major plays in the emerging Internet music business? None.
I see Merlin, Impala and the big indies put in a token objection. How differently do they behave with those same business interests? How do they compete? By following the herd—it’s not really a game for competitors.
But never mind all that, here is the news. These are the most informative links about the UMG/EMI deal (complete with Billboard’s inability to spell “Parlophone”, the legendary record label of the best selling band of all time).
EMI CEO Roger Faxon’s email to staff
Merlin expresses disappointment at Universal/EMI approval
US Bureau Of Competition statement on Universal/EMI approval
Universal’s £1.2 billion EMI bid approved without remedy in the US
The European Commission’s statement on Universal’s EMI deal
Universal’s EMI purchase gets European approval – up to 60% of EMI’s European assets to be sold
Sony initiates sale of EMI catalogues agreed with regulator
Universal’s Deal for EMI No Longer a Sure Thing, But Still Worthwhile
FAQ on Approval of Universal Music – EMI Deal
Universal-EMI: Lucian Grainge, IMPALA, Martin Mills, Other Reactions to Deal’s Approval
Universal Music-EMI Merger: UMG Struck Gold With PolyGram in the 1990s, Can They Do It Again?