The European Commission has finally allowed Universal's acquisition of EMI Music to proceed. Universal Music, the world's largest record company, must shed some acquisitions as part of the deal. And so, Universal has agreed to jettison Parlophone, which is home to a list of stars including David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Duran Duran, …
Music Monopolists Unite
So most of the worlds music and back catalogue is going to now be controlled by 3 companies. What a stink.
In their original submission Universal were offering to relinquish their interests in bands for which they held no rights anyway; I don't know if they ever corrected that list.
I trust that anyone planning to buy the subsidiary companies they will be offering for sale will be performing thorough due diligence (as is only right & proper); after all
- some proportion of artists will have a contract clause that terminates their agreement on change of ownership;
- there are an increasing number of legal claims being made by musicians for unpaid/underpaid fees, and any which affect these subsidiaries would have to be handled by the new owners unless explicitly agreed otherwise with Universal.
Bye bye EMI. It was good for a while. A long while ... ago.