Universal eyes asset sales, manifesto for EMI deal -FT
LONDON, July 11 |
LONDON, July 11 (Reuters) - Universal Music, seeking to appease regulators worried about its planned acquisition of EMI's recorded music business, plans to sell assets and propose a "manifesto" for restoring growth to the industry, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.
EU regulators have told Universal Music Group, owned by Vivendi, that its plans to buy the EMI unit will significantly impede competition, signalling a possible veto unless it offers major concessions, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters last week.
The European Commission, which has been examining the $1.9 billion deal since February, has given Universal until July 5 to reply to concerns set out in a 194-page statement of objections sent last month.
The FT said Universal will also offer commitments about its future dealings with digital start-ups, independent labels and larger rivals.
"I'm extremely open-minded about working with the Commission in the context of behavioural remedies as well as divestitures," the FT quoted Lucian Grainge as saying in an interview.
The manifesto would include "a new way of working with all these startup platforms...in a fair, open-minded way," the paper quoted him as saying.
The newspaper cited one person familiar with the details as saying that Universal had told the commission it will increase investment in developing new artists across its own labels and those of EMI.
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