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Sony hits indy hurdle in bid to buy EMI Classics

Sony, who are front-runners to buy the divested rump of EMI from successful bidders Universal, have  been served notice of opposition by Impala, which represents independent labels. In a statement this morning, Impala said:

‘Universal and Sony were allowed to buy EMI on the basis that the divestments they make would compensate for the reduction in competition in an adequate way. Strict rules apply to make sure this happens… First, the purchaser must have no connections to the seller. Second, the seller must not benefit from the divestments or re-acquire any market influence over the assets. Third, the divestment must not raise any competition concerns (which rules out any Sony involvement in bids). Any breach of these conditions or other irregularity, or any result which protects the position of Sony or Universal, whether co-ordinated or otherwise, is forbidden and would be blocked by the EC.’

What Impala are trying to achieve is that EMI Classics, which is being sold as part of Parlophone, does not end up in the hands of another major.

That leaves its future more parlous than ever.


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  1. Ignacio Martínez-Ybor says:

    My interest in EMI Classics is primarily to see its vast catalogue of historical recordings preserved and refurbished as technological advancements take place. I sympathize with the goal of the independents to prevent the heavy and constricting hand of oligopoly from dominating the market. On the other hand, I have greater confidence in Sony’s ability to preserve and protect the catalogue than of a minor player pressed for resources. One would wish for some sort of international archive like the U.S. Library of Congress, but that is not likely. At the same time, my trust in the private sector is certainly not absolute. I am of the generation that saw the RCA classical catalogue, historical and otherwise, decimated and brought to ruin by ignorant, unloving mismanagement. Impala’s intentions may be worthy, but my concerns about the EMI catalogue are very real. Let us hope that a way is found for good sense to prevail.

  2. Yi-Peng Li says:

    I know that the major labels have done a poor job at curating and preserving their vast back catalogues. And I’m probably not surprised that Impala raised their opposition to Sony’s desires to buy the EMI divestments. However I’m still secretly hoping that Universal could continue to keep the Classics back catalogue and substitute another EMI label in its place.

  3. “That leaves its future more parlous than ever.”

    I have to hand it to you, that tickles my funnie bonne!

  4. Those who know about that elusive back-catalogue are a shrinking number, as consequence the more obstacles. that are placed in the way of its release, reduces the marketable value of the catalogue components. These companies need to remember that not every item in the back catalogue is of value

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