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.