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Background: Today, reports leaked that Universal has proposed a revised concession package to the European Commission for its proposed merger with EMI. The European antitrust regulators had immediately rejected Universal's first proposed concession package. Universal has proposed divesting record labels including Parlophone, Chrysalis, Ensign, and several Europe-specific holdings, but Universal would retain ownership of the Beatles and Robbie Williams catalogs.
The following statement may be attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, President & CEO:
"Regardless of the European Commission's response to Universal's proposed concession package, these proposed divestments do not address the serious competitive harms this merger would inflict on the U.S. physical and digital music licensing markets. Much of this proposed concession package consists of European rights and holdings, and the concessions would have little impact on the U.S. market share that a combined UMG/EMI would control over the most popular music today."
Public Knowledge is a Washington D.C.- based public interest group working to defend consumer rights in the emerging digital culture. More information is available at http://www.publicknowledge.org.