THE GOOD - Yesterday EMI accepted a $4.7 Billion offer from investment firm Terra Firma Capital Partners. While bidding may continue the EMI board signaled that "other offers" (aka WMG) had "faced uncertain regulatory review" (as in by various EU Commissions). This means that four major label groups are unlikely to become three major label groups. Less consolidation of remaining power and resources is good for music.
THE BAD - EMI is now more than ever in the hands of suits and bean counters. These guys never were or wanted to be music men. Oh sure, buying EMI is sexier than buying pork belly futures, but doing either is an activity only undertaken to enrich themselves and their shareholders.
THE UGLY - We could easily say that the ugliness is EMI's latest dire financial report conveniently released yesterday alongside the announcement to sell and including a 15.8% revenue drop. But far uglier is the fact that sometime very soon more decent people will suffer and more acts will be dropped. There will be lots of babble about "synergies", "reorganization" and "re-allocation of resources to meet the challenges of the digital revolution" first, but there will be layoffs, acts will be dropped and (we're speculating here) perhaps most sadly, the march towards DRM freedom will be slowed.