For Immediate Release
July 30, 2012
American Association of Independent Music (”A2IM”) President Rich Bengloff’s statement on Universal’s proposed European Commission concession package related to its proposed acquisition of EMI:
A2IM members read with interest Friday’s news reports about the submission of Universal’s proposed concession package, in regards to the proposed acquisition of EMI’s recorded music business, that was sent to the European Commission. If the news reports are correct, almost all of the proposed divestitures and behavioral remedies are focused entirely overseas – creating a major problem for U.S. consumers, artists, labels and the technology companies they work with.
As we have noted in prior statements, “the increased concentration of copyright ownership, historically, has always hurt the Independent label community in terms of achieving economic parity and market access.” With no divestitures or operating remedies proposed for the U.S. – the world’s largest music market and home to the vast majority of the technology companies who work with the music community – the negative impact on music consumers and emerging technology companies is clear. Such market concentration will diminish healthy competition, providing one dominant market leader damaging clout in terms of both consumer pricing and the means with which music is made available. The effect on both promotional access and monetization for independent music labels and artists is equally clear. Approval of such an acquisition with no U.S. remedies will further constrain our resources (with higher potential distribution fees and less money available to create diverse music for consumers both very probable). We continue to join our European Impala Independent music label colleagues in their concern over this acquisition and reiterate A2IM’s opposition to this transaction and, given Universal’s penchance to monopolize the marketplace, we call on the FTC to take the required steps to insure that this transaction is blocked so that it does not move forward.
There was a great deal of press pick-up on our Press Release which will hopefully have an effect on the FTC deliberations. Please see links to three of the press items below.
A2IM is a not-for-profit trade organization serving the Independent music community as a unified voice representing a sector that comprises over 30% of the music industry’s market share in the United States (and almost 40% of SoundScan digital sales). The organization represents the Independents’ interests in the marketplace, in the media, on Capitol Hill, and as part of the global music community. A2IM is headquartered in New York City.
The organization’s board of directors is composed of the following: Daptone Records General Manager Cathy Bauer; Sub Pop VP of Business Affairs Eric Brown; Epitaph General Manager Dave Hansen; Yep Roc Records Co-Owner Tor Hansen; Alligator Records Founder/CEO Bruce Iglauer; The Beggars Group Founder/CEO Martin Mills; Glassnote Records General Manager Chris Scully; Naxos of America CEO Jim Selby; Tommy Boy CEO/Founder Tom Silverman; Jagjaguwar/Dead Oceans/Secretly Canadian Founder/Co-Owner Darius Van Arman; Razor & Tie COO Victor Zaraya.
For more information, or to become a member, please visit www.A2IM.org.
For press information on A2IM, please contact Elizabeth Lutz [firstname.lastname@example.org], David McTiernan [email@example.com], or Rebecca Shapiro [firstname.lastname@example.org] at Shore Fire Media, 718.522.7171.