On his last day as chairman of Warner Music Group, Edgar Bronfman Jr. promised that the company will fight Universal's purchase of EMI "tooth and nail," adding that it strikes him as "hubris particularly for Universal to think it's going to be easy to buy EMI, and frankly to think they can buy EMI at all."
Bronfman, in what was jokingly dubbed an "exit interview" with All Things D's Peter Kafka at the "D: Dive Into Media" conference, said a combined Universal-EMI "would create what I call a super-major that would control not only the future of recorded music but the future of all digital media. I think it's dangerous, I think it's problematic and I think it's got to be stopped."
Warner had been expected to win the auction for EMI last fall, but was overtaken in the final weeks by Universal, which won the bidding for the company's recorded-music division, and a consortium led by Sony, which acquired the publishing wing. He said his hubris comment applied to Sony as well. At press time, reps for Universal and Sony had not responded to Billboard.biz's requests for comment.
Bronfman spent years attempting to merge EMI and Warner. He said that if Warner had not been sold to Access Industries, he would have stayed with the company.
Edgar Bronfman Jr. to Step Down as Warner Music Group Chairman, No Successor Named
Bronfman also spoke at length about digital music and Apple's Steve Jobs.