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Universal's bid for EMI music division approved

Regulators in the U.S. and Europe clear the way for the merger, putting Universal Music Group, now an even larger global music conglomerate, ahead in terms of market share. And UMG gets the Beatles.

September 22, 2012|By Randy Lewis and Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times

"The independents welcome the [European Commission's] conclusion that Universal's power is a problem across the whole market, both digital and physical, including access to media," said an IMPALA statement. "The remedies package put in place, however, is not considered to be tough enough to curb Universal's improved market position."

Ted Cohen, managing partner of TAG Strategic, a digital media consulting firm, said Friday, "I, for one, am glad to see this merger successfully resolved. The EMI team has done some brilliant work in the face of drastic uncertainty. Now that the deal can move forward, artists can be more confident that they have reasonable security going forward. I only hope that UMG sees the value in EMI music execs such as Mark Piibe, Pat Shah and Tricia Tranquillo, who have been moving things forward in the digital/mobile space, where our futures are going to be made."

The consolidation of Universal and EMI appears to be the last such move on the horizon for the foreseeable future.

"The music industry is now static," said Needham & Co. managing director Laura Martin. "I don't think the regulators will allow any more mergers after this. This means we know what the competitive landscape looks like now and in the future. You'll have two really big guys [Sony and Universal] and a little guy [Warner]."

randy.lewis@latimes.com

alex.pham@latimes.com

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