Brussels, 20th April
In the context of the American musicians' unions coming out this week in support of the Universal/EMI deal, it is worth noting that the International Musicians Union FIM took a strong stance against the Universal/EMI merger more than a month ago. News about this is just starting to circulate now. Among other concerns, FIM said that "such (a) merger can only be expected to further deteriorate an already imbalanced situation" and that "artists would lose one of the remaining few alternative routes to access the mass market". FIM further stated the result "would also mean less investment, lower quality, fewer jobs, narrowed consumer choice as well as reduced cultural diversity".
For FIM's full statement:
IMPALA was established in April 2000 to represent European independent music companies. One of IMPALA's missions is to keep the music market as open and competitive as possible. IMPALA has an impressive record on competition cases in the music sector. The first EMI/Warner merger was withdrawn in 2001 following objections from the EU after IMPALA intervened, in its first year of existence. It also won a landmark judgment in 2006 in the Sony/BMG case, and when Sony acquired 30% of EMI publishing in 2012, it was at the cost of significant divestments. The biggest set of remedies proportionately ever in a merger case was secured later that year, when UMG was forced to sell two thirds of EMI records and had to accept ten years of scrutiny over the terms of its digital deals. When WMG bought Parlophone in 2013, IMPALA secured a hefty divestments package for its members. On top of mergers, IMPALA has also been involved in other anti-trust cases involving the music sector, such as the abuse complaint against YouTube in 2014 and the call for regulating unfair business practices by large online players. IMPALA has also submitted observations on Apple’s bid to acquire Shazam. See the organisation's other key achievements in IMPALA's milestones.