Sony faces regulatory concerns in move to take over EMI Music Publishing

Independent music companies have made a pre-emptive strike to oppose Sony’s attempt to gain sole control of EMI Music Publishing. IMPALA has confirmed that it has lodged concerns with the European Commission about the transaction, which it describes as “seismic’.

Sony’s move would increase its share of EMI to 100%, after confirmation that Sony has also bought out the shares of Michael Jackson’s estate. That would almost double the number of songs it controls, from 2.16m to 4.21m compositions. Combine that with Sony Music’s huge recordings catalogue and Sony would be the biggest and most formidable music company in the world.

Read IMPALA’s statement on the move in full here.

Paul Pacifico, CEO of AIM said: “Like any market, it’s crucial for the health of the music sector that it remains a competitive environment with varied players. If this move goes ahead, Sony will obtain an unparalleled level of power and influence that could be used to dominate the rest of the industry. For music to have a diverse, innovative future, SMEs need to be allowed room to thrive amongst the giants.”

Helen Smith, Executive Chair of IMPALA commented: “It cannot be overemphasised that this is completely different to an ordinary change from joint to sole control. It’s like seeking to merge two majors. That would never be allowed and neither should this”. Sony’s latest financial results confirm that “EMI will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony.”