Europe Said to Be Close to Approval of EMI Deal (Universal and EMI merger)
European regulators are set on Friday to approve a reduced version of the Universal Music Groupís $1.9 billion takeover of EMI Music, allowing Universal to expand its dominance as the worldís largest music company but significantly paring down its ambitions, according to several people involved in the talks.
To gain the approval of the European Commission, Universal will agree to divest itself of a third or more of the assets of EMI, the venerable British record company that releases the music of the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Katy Perry and Coldplay, said these people, who spoke anonymously ahead of a formal announcement.
The divestments include a number of EMIís most prominent labels in Europe, like Parlophone, as well as classical and jazz catalogs, several of the independent labels that EMI has bought over the years, and various national subsidiaries across the Continent. In addition, Universal will sell worldwide rights to release the music by the acts on those labels, including superstars like Coldplay.
Other conditions, including so-called behavioral remedies restricting Universalís actions in the marketplace to benefit digital services and smaller labels, could also apply.