FTC Approves UMG Acquisition of EMI

Within hours of the European Commission’s approval of Universal Music Group’s acquisition of EMI, the Federal Trade Commission has closed its investigation in the United States.

“Today, the Commission voted to close its investigation of the proposed acquisition by Vivendi, S.A., parent company of Universal Music Group (“Universal”), of EMI Recorded Music (“EMI”),” said Bureau of Competition Director Richard A. Feinstein in a statement. “After a thorough investigation into the likely competitive effects of the merger, Commission staff did not find sufficient evidence that the acquisition would substantially lessen competition.”

As reported earlier, UMG will be selling off one-third of EMI’s assets to satisfy the European regulatory board. The FTC will not require any additional divestitures for the deal, valued at $1.9 billion, to pass in the United States.

“Although the Commission did not conclude that a remedy was needed to protect competition in the United States, we note that the remedy obtained by the European Commission to address the different market conditions in Europe will reduce concentration in the market in the United States as well,” noted Feinstein in the statement.

It remains unclear exactly what this will mean for Nashville, but expect some changes as the labels begin to combine resources. Former Capitol Nashville/EMI Records Nashville President Mike Dungan previously made the switch to head up Universal Music Group Nashville in May 2012, so it is likely his some of associates and artists from Capitol/EMI will once again be back under his leadership.

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