(UPDATED) Despite widely accepted stats that a combined EMI and Universal Music Group would control 40% of the recorded music market, Universal Music Group representatives are telling anyone that will listen that combining their record divisions will not create too powerful a player.
In private briefings with European journalists, UMG representatives are claiming that a 40% share shouldn't be an issue when there is so much piracy, free music available everywhere on the internet and Apple, Google and Amazon are the dominant players in digital sales. And besides, they argue, without a UMG purchase, what will become of EMI?
Of course, Warner Music Group disagrees with Universal; and in addition to being willing to pick up any EMI pieces, they are rumored to be actively trying to scuttle the deal.
It could take the EU until August 8th to decide EMI's fate, but already commissioners already appear skeptical. The Commissioners wrote in their announcement of their Phase II investigation:
"At this stage of the investigation, the new entity, which would be almost twice the size of the next largest player in the EEA, would not appear to be sufficiently constrained by the remaining competitors on the market, by its customers' buyer power, and/or by the threat of illegal music consumption.