Mergers and bargaining power: back to the future? Insights from the Universal/EMI merger* The decision to approve the acquisition of EMI’s recorded music rights by Universal has recently been published by the European Commission. Following a Phase II investigation, the acquisition was approved subject to commitments, which included the divestment of the Parlophone label.  On the same day as the Commission adopted its decision, the FTC issued a press-release stating that it would not be challenging the deal in the US.  Both the European Commission and the FTC emphasised during their respective investigations the high degree of product differentiation which characterises the recorded music industry: a consumer who wants to purchase a track by a particular EMI artist (say, the
The EU Commission develops a novel theory of harm based on the effect of the transaction on the bargaining power of the new entity (Universal Music Group / EMI Music)
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