London 21 September 2012
Reacting to the Federal Trade Commission’s decision to clear Universal Music's acquisition of EMI, with no conditions, Charles Caldas, CEO of Merlin has issued a statement as follows:
“This Federal Trade Commission decision is extremely disappointing, and deeply misguided. The European Commission raised a series of very significant competition issues resulting from the UMG/EMI transaction which required an extensive set of divestments and behavioural remedies, in particular with regards to limiting Universal's actions in the digital market."
“The failure of the FTC to require similar if not more stringent remedies in the US market, where most digital services originate, gives UMG an open and unbridled path to controlling the shape and nature of the digital market, ignoring the interests of US consumers in favour of the market’s most dominant player.”
Merlin is the global rights agency representing the world's most significant set of independent music companies. Merlin commenced operations in May 2008. Since then it has struck deals with a large number of digital services including Spotify, YouTube, Google Music, Rdio and Simfy and reached a number of copyright infringement settlements on behalf of its members with amongst others Limewire, XM Satellite Radio and Grooveshark. Merlin acts to ensure its members have effective access to new and emerging revenue streams and that their rights are appropriately valued and protected.
A list of Merlin's board members and further information on Merlin is available at: http://www.merlinnetwork.org/board/