Japanese regulators have approved Universal Music Group's $1.9 billion purchase of EMI Music without having to make concessions, according to a Music Week report.
A statement from a Universal Music rep said that, "We can confirm that the Japanese Fair Trade Commission has unconditionally approved UMG's proposed acquisition of EMI Recorded Music. We are continuing to work constructively with regulators in other jurisdictions, and look forward to clearance elsewhere in due course."
Japan, which according to the 2012 IFPI report is the world's second largest music market, is the second country to approve the merger after New Zealand regulators announced on June 21 that they would permit the deal.
The news comes as European Union and U.S. regulators are deep in the process of examining the merger. The European Union issued its statement of objections last week which has left UMG strategizing which concessions it will make in order for the deal to be approved.
In recent days, a number of stories show how important this merger is to both Universal and its parent company Vivendi. On Friday, Vivendi chairman Jean-René Fourtou announced he would be taking a more active role in the EMI venture. And yesterday (July 10), UMG CEO Lucian Grainge announced what is being called a "manifesto for the new music industry" along with plans to sell assets, invest heavily in A&R, and keep EMI as intact as possible while trying to gain approval for the EMI acquisition.
Label reps did not respond to request for comment at press time.