Brussels, 20th July

Further concerns over “transformative” Sony/SonyATV transaction raised in Brussels 

As the European Commission reaches a key stage in its investigation into Sony’s buy out of the Michael Jackson estate’s shares in Sony/ATV, independent music companies renew their call for a tough stance to be taken.

Describing the deal as “transformative”, IMPALA has submitted its concerns formally and has written to the Commissioner for competition, Margrethe Vestager.

IMPALA’s executive chair, Helen Smith summarised IMPALA’s position: “The Sony/ATV deal would have a transformative effect. The European Commission knows the situation and the solutions, having already identified concerns about the impact of Sony’s increased market power on prices, and other terms and conditions in the digital market.

IMPALA would expect the European Commission to take a strict line this time around and open a detailed Phase 2 investigation.

The Commission is currently examining responses from customers and competitors and will deliver a verdict on 1 August unless remedies are proposed to try and get the deal through in the first phase (this Friday 22 July is the deadline for Sony to propose remedies).

Helen Smith added “Brussels has set a limit on how much power Sony should have and it now needs to enforce it”.

IMPALA was established in April 2000 to represent independent music companies. 99% of Europe’s music companies are SMEs. Known as the “independents”, they are world leaders in terms of innovation and discovering new music and artists – they produce more than 80% of all new releases and account for 80% of the sector’s jobs (for more information, see the features of independents). IMPALA’s mission is to grow the independent music sector, return more value to artists, promote cultural diversity and entrepreneurship, improve political access and modernise perceptions of the music sector.

To celebrate IMPALA’s 15th anniversary, various initiatives are taking place across Europe under the “IMPALA 15” banner, including special editions of the IMPALA awards and events at industry gatherings such as Amsterdam Dance Event, Eurosonic Noorderslag, Tallinn Music Week, Westway Lab, Primavera, Midem, Reeperbahn etc. See the organisation’s key achievements inIMPALA’s first 15 years in milestones.