U.S. approval of Universal's EMI purchase is a toss-up, according to a Reuters survey of anti-trust experts: "Eight antitrust experts interviewed about the issue were divided about the chances for approval, largely because the music landscape has changed so much in recent years that it is not clear that a deal that would concentrate 40% of the recorded music industry in one company would harm competition."
"Ten years ago, the labels had power. Today they don't have any power. If they (the U.S. Federal Trade Commission) block it, it's just because they don't understand the market," Daniel Sokol, a professor of antitrust law at the University of Florida told Reuters.
But two antitrust experts who spoke off the record said that Universal faces a tough fight, especially because Warner Music Group is activley opposing the deal. "My sense is that the FTC could take a hard line depending on how good a job Warner does in generating complaints," one said. "It wouldn't surprise me if it didn't go through."