Universal Music is set to submit a raft of concessions to the European Commission today as the world's biggest record label strives to win authorization for its £1.2bn takeover of EMI.
EMI's Virgin Records, which launched Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells and punk bands such as the Sex Pistols, is among the labels that could be sold, with founder Richard Branson being unlikely a possible buyer. This deal will see Universal with almost 30 per cent market share merge with EMI who have artists like Kylie Minogue and The Beatles to their credit. Universal being home to Lady Gaga, is likely to offer selling several subsidiaries and commit not to use its dominant position to raise prices of digital music platforms.
Though this merger has been given the thumbs up from regulators in New Zealand and Japan, it still faces the approval in Australia, US and some other territories.
Jean-Rene Fourtou, chairman of Vivendi has taken up charge of Universal's campaign in Europe to secure the division of recorded music of EMI, and is working around the clock to make sure he achieves his aim. . Universal Music, which is French-owned but based in Los Angeles, has less than eight weeks before the European Commission delivers its verdict on the controversial tie-up, which is stringently opposed by rival and independent music labels. Universal hopes to strike a deal before September.