The European Commission has cleared the acquisition of the music publishing business of BMG by the US-based company Universal following the latter company’s commitment to divest itself of some publishing catalogues. The music publishing business consists of the exploitation of authors’ copyrights, such as mechanical, performance, online and synchronisation rights. The Commission found that the proposed acquisition would restrict competition in the field of online rights, where Universal would be able to exert significant control over a large percentage of titles, thus becoming a “must have” product for all online and mobile music services. Following the Commission’s objections, Universal undertook to divest itself of a number of important catalogues containing many best selling titles and authors.
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