The sale of EMI Records to Universal Music has been approved in the USA and Europe.
The approval was granted on condition that Universal Music agrees to let go of some of its biggest acts including Pink Floyd, David Bowie and Coldplay.
It also means that The Beatles, The Beach Boys and Katy Perry will become Universal Music acts.
The statement from the European Commission outlined the conditions of sale. It states:
“To remove the Commission’s concerns, Universal committed to divest significant assets.
“These divestments include EMI Recording Limited, which holds the iconic Parlophone label (home to artists such as Coldplay, David Guetta, Lilly Allen, Tinie Tempah, Blur, Gorillaz, Kylie Minogue, Pink Floyd, Cliff Richard, David Bowie, Tina Turner and Duran Duran). The divestments also encompass EMI France (which holds the David Guetta catalogue), EMI’s classical music labels, Mute (home to The Ramones and Jethro Tull), Chrysalis (home to Depeche Mode, Moby and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds), various other labels and a large number of local EMI entities. The divestment package also includes Coop, a label licensing business selling artists such as Mumford and Sons, Garbage and Two Door Cinema Club.
“In addition, Universal committed to selling EMI’s 50% stake in the popular Now! That’s What I Call Music compilation JV and to continue licensing its repertoire for that compilation in the next ten years.
“Universal finally committed not to include Most Favoured Nation (”MFN”) clauses in its favour in any new or renegotiated contract with digital customers in the EEA for ten years. MFN clauses oblige digital customers to extend any favourable term granted to Universal’s competitors to Universal. This commitment will allow Universal’s competitors to negotiate more freely with digital customers and further levels the playing field between these competitors and Universal.
“The rights to be divested are worldwide and cover both digital and physical music. This will ensure a viable and competitive exploitation of the divested artists and catalogue by the purchaser of the assets.
“In light of these commitments, the Commission concluded that competition on the digital music markets in the EEA will be adequately preserved and that the transaction will have no negative impact on consumers”.
Commission Vice-President in charge of competition policy Joaquín Almunia said, “Competition in the music business is crucial to preserve choice, cultural diversity and innovation. In this investigation, we have paid close attention to digital innovation, which is changing the way that people listen to music. 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.”