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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 October 2007, 10:26 GMT 11:26 UK
New green light for Sony-BMG deal
Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley's music is part of the Sony-BMG stable
The merger of record giants Sony Music and BMG has once again been approved by European competition regulators - after a reassessment of the case.

The European Commission cleared the deal to join the two firms' music units in 2004, but a court overturned this.

A new inquiry ruled the merger would not "create or strengthen a dominant position in the music markets".

Following the deal, Sony BMG controlled artists such as Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen and Christina Aguilera.

"This investigation represents one of the most thorough analyses of complex information ever undertaken by the Commission," said EU antitrust commissioner Neelie Kroes.

"It clearly shows that the merger would not raise competition concerns in any of the affected markets."

Scrutiny

The new company, Sony BMG, became one of the music industry's biggest players, and the merger was opposed by a number of independent record labels.

Last year, a top European court upheld a complaint by the record labels that the merger needed more scrutiny after a challenge from the independent record label group Impala, which represents 2,500 independent music firms.

It said that too much of the market would be concentrated in the hands of a few large companies and warned that the deal would push up CD prices and reduce consumer choice.

Sony BMG is the world's second-largest music firm, and with rivals Universal Music, Warner Music and EMI it controls about 80% of the music market.

SEE ALSO
EU starts Sony BMG merger probe
01 Mar 07 |  Business
Sony BMG deal under new scrutiny
13 Jul 06 |  Business
Sony and BMG merger backed by EU
19 Jul 04 |  Business

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