It’s thought representatives from Universal Music will again meet with European Commission officials this week in the major’s continued bid to get regulator approval for its acquisition of the EMI record company. And according to the Daily Mail, the offloading of worldwide rights to certain key artists in the EMI Anglo-American catalogue remains top of the agenda for European regulators.
As much previously reported, despite initially saying no concessions should be needed to get regulator approval for its EMI bid, last month Universal said it would sell a wide-range of EMI’s assets in Europe, including the Parlophone and Chrysalis divisions in the UK. However, it’s thought European regulators have asked for more, in particular the offloading of worldwide rights for certain key artists who particularly dominate in Europe.
Universal bosses have so far resisted complying with that wish, but with the deadline now approaching when the mega-major must hand over the money it promised to pay US bank Citigroup for the EMI record company – even if regulator approval is still pending – the music giant could really do with resolving this matter sooner rather than later.
Some insiders at the major have suggested threatening to pull out of the EMI deal completely, selling it on to a third party in its entirety (maybe one of those evil equity outfits who might just asset strip), in a bid to persuade EC regulators to accept the Euro-focused concessions already on the table, though it’s not thought that threat has been formally made to officials.
Whether the major will instead arrive with a couple of high profile artist catalogues to sell on a global basis to get the green light once and for all remains to be seen.