The European Commission has approved, under the EC Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of joint control by Bertelsmann AG and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co LLP (“KKR”) over a newly created music publishing and rights management venture. International media company, Bertelsmann and private equity firm KKR, will first establish a joint venture into which Bertelsmann will contribute its activities in music publishing and recorded music. The new joint venture will then acquire music from Crosstown Songs America LLC.
The Commission has decided that the proposed concentration would not be anti-competitive, as it would only have a very small share of the music publishing and recorded music market. On analysing the vertical links between the joint venture’s activities in music and publishing and Bertelsmann’s and KKR’s activities in TV and radio, the Commission found that the limited size of the joint venture would also prevent them from foreclosing their competitors.