EU moves against Universal-EMI deal

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"We will continue to work closely with the commission and look forward to securing regulatory clearance,” the spokesman said in a statement.

‪Universal Music, a division of French conglomerate Vivendi, announced its intent to buy EMI last November. The $1.9 billion deal would reduce the number of major worldwide labels from four to three and would give Universal Music control over the catalogs of artists such as the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Coldplay and Katy Perry.‬

In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission is currently reviewing the transaction.

The Senate Judiciary’s subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights will examine the deal at a hearing on Thursday afternoon.

Universal CEO Lucian Grainge and EMI CEO Roger Faxon are scheduled to defend their deal before the lawmakers. 

Irving Azoff, chairman of Live Nation Entertainment; Edgar Bronfman, director of Warner Music Group; Martin Mills, chairman of Beggars Group; and Gigi Sohn, president of advocacy group Public Knowledge, will also testify.

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