KOHL, LEE OUTLINE ANALYSIS OF UNIVERSAL-EMI MERGER IN LETTER TO FTC

Senators examined consumer implications of merger in an Antitrust Subcommittee hearing in June

Aug 03 2012

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Mike Lee (R-UT), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights Subcommittee, today outlined their analysis of the pending acquisition of EMI Group by Universal Music Group in a letter to the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which is currently reviewing the merger.  The subcommittee convened a hearing on June 21, 2012 to consider the sale of EMI’s recorded music business to Universal, and its impact on competition, artists, and consumers.
 
“This letter summarizes the findings of our investigation into this transaction. In brief, without reaching any final judgment as to the legality of the deal under the antitrust laws, we believe this proposed acquisition presents significant competition issues that merit careful FTC review to ensure that the transaction is not likely to cause substantial harm to competition in the affected markets.  In the course of this review, we also urge the Commission to be mindful of the changes in the music industry in the last decade, particularly the shift to online distribution as the preferred way consumers purchase music,” the Senators wrote.