More details are emerging as the dance between EMI and suitor Warner Music continues.
One of the major road blocks to any hookup between WMG and EMI has always been obtaining anti-trust approval of European Commission. European indie music trade group IMPALA has already successfully forced the Sony BMG merger back for re-approval. Today WMG announced that it has cut a deal with IMPALA that would have the indie label group actually endorsing the merger.
Warner Music has promised that if a deal to buy EMI is closed it will:
- provide specified but unnamed funding for but take no equity participation in the recently announced Merlin initiative, the new global digital rights licensing platform established by the independent music labels to represent the world's independent music sector
- ensure the divestiture of certain unspecified "recorded music assets to reinforce the market power of the independent sector"
- pursue "various other behavioral commitments which have the aim of benefiting the recorded music market as a whole and, in particular, the independent music sector"
WMG gets points for overcoming this hurdle prior to making a new offer EMI. But...
Do you believe that even by banding together indies can't compete with the big bad majors? The poor little Indies even need Uncle Edgar's money to fund their own new licensing organization Merlin. Too bad you think so little of yourselves. We thought you were our last best hope to save the industry.