Universal's proposed acquisition of EMI Music has been approved by the New Zealand Commerce Commission - the first jurisdiction in the world to do so.
Universal Music Group was notified of the regulatory approval earlier today (June 21) and issued the following statement.
"The New Zealand Commerce Commission undertook a very thorough investigative process under chairman Dr Mark Berry, working with our legal team there and with Universal Music New Zealand managing director Adam Holt. We continue to work with regulators in other jurisdictions, and remain confident of further clearances."
The decision arrives on the same day that UMG Chairman/CEO Lucian Grainge and EMI Group CEO Roger Faxon appear before the Senate antitrust subcommittee, arguing in support of the proposed $1.9 billion merger. Live Nation chairman Irving Azoff is also appearing at the hearing, while Warner Music Group board member and former chairman/CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. will join Beggars Group chairman Martin Mills and Public Knowledge president Gigi Sohn to testify against the deal.