- Act Now
- Open Internet
- Promoting Creativity
- Open & Accessible Technology
Background: Today the FTC voted to take no action against the merger between the major record labels Universal Music Group and EMI. Earlier today, the European Commission took steps to protect competition in the European digital music market.
Public Knowledge's testimony to the U.S. Congress opposing the merger may be found here.
The following statement may be attributed to Jodie Griffin, Staff Attorney at Public Knowledge:
"It is incredible that the FTC has not taken any action whatsoever to protect consumers and competition in the nascent digital music market. As Public Knowledge and many other stakeholders have protested, this merger will give UMG the power and incentive to burden new digital music services that benefit actual artists and consumers."
"By failing to act to block this merger or even impose even one condition beyond that imposed by the European Commission, the FTC is allowing UMG to acquire unprecedented market power and amass a dominant collection of copyright holdings. UMG can now use those holdings not just to raise prices for consumers, but also to create a new tax on innovation among digital music services. Handing more market power over to incumbent gatekeepers is not the way to encourage new digital music services, and the FTC should have stepped in to protect consumers and musicians."
Rather than make an independent determination about how this transaction would harm Americans, the FTC has merely relied upon the European authorities. That is an unfortunate way to make policy.