IMPALA Press Release – Brussels, 15th September 2008

IMPALA object to EC’s soft approval of the new Sony-SonyBMG merger

The European independent music community rallied to challenge the EC's decision to approve the new  Sony - SonyBMG merger after only a limited investigation.  IMPALA finds it incredible that the Commission can take such a consequential decision without carrying out an in-depth investigation.
This is a completely different merger to the SonyBMG joint venture that has been approved twice by the Commission but is still in court under appeal.  The new merger will fully integrate the world's second largest music company with the largest consumer electronics company, creating a wide array of new vertical and horizontal problems as the industry progresses toward digital delivery of music through multiple platforms.
IMPALA is awaiting the text of the EC's decision so that it can determine its course of action.
Patrick Zelnik, Co-President of IMPALA and President of Naïve – It is difficult for us to understand how there can be such a difference between what the Commission says and what the Commission does. Cultural diversity is meant to be properly taken into account in all decisions. Merger control rules must be adapted to cultural industries.
Michel Lambot, Co-President of IMPALA and Co-President of PIAS Entertainment Group – We keep saying that music is not like widgets.  The Commission needs to completely reassess its view of the music market.  They have just let the world’s largest consumer electronics company merge with the second largest music company without any detailed investigation.
Horst Weidenmueller, Co-President of IMPALA and CEO of !K7 Records – Artists and music fans will lose out from this. In the digital era vertical integration like this will make it harder and harder for the independents to keep producing the innovative music that Europe is world famous for.

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