Universal is today expected to submit its written response to the European Commission's 194-page statement of objections over its proposed acquisition of EMI.
The music major has until midnight (Central European Time) today (July 5) to reply to EU regulators' concerns about the $1.9 billion deal. Universal was originally told to submit its response by midnight EST July 3, but was granted a 48-hour extension following an agreement between both parties.
A Universal spokesperson said in a statement: "UMG is submitting a full and detailed written response to the European Commission and will continue to engage constructively with the Commission to satisfy any remaining concerns."
A source close to the matter told Billboard.biz that UMG opted for a written submission rather than taking up the option of an oral hearing, due to the complexity of the economic analysis and issues involved, as well as to avoid any ambiguity in its responses.
The European Commission originally submitted its statement of objections to UMG on June 19. According to various news reports quoting people who have seen the near-200-page document, the principle objections refer to the dominant market share that a combined UMG/EMI company would hold. The report is also said to question assertions made by Universal concerning piracy and the growth of the online music retail business in limiting its market power.
Universal has until July 18 to put forward any concessions, although it has the option of extending that deadline to Aug. 1. The European Commission has set a deadline of September 6 to deliver its ruling.