IMPALA Warns Access Industries, WMG's New Owners, Against EMI Purchase
IMPALA Warns Access Industries, WMG's New Owners, Against EMI Purchase

IMPALA, the Brussells-based Independent Music Companies Association, has warned new Warner Music Group owner Access Industries that any attempt by the company to purchase EMI and merge it with Warner -- a scenario many have speculated about in recent weeks -- will be met with deep scrutiny from the European Commission.

While the organization said in a press release that it welcomes "new investment into the sector," it singled out four challenges facing the business: "making access to music as easy as possible, investing in new talent, recognizing the value of music and finding ways to level the playing field between the independents and the majors.

Helen Smith, IMPALA executive chair, continues in the statement: "This investment recognizes the value of Warner's catalogues in terms of both publishing and recording, which we hope can now enjoy a sound financial future. We look forward to working with a new voice on solving our sector's challenges, including leveling the playing field for the independents."

"As many commentators have recognized," the statement continues, "if one of the market leaders Sony or Universal were to make a move, they would meet a regulatory brick wall. Any attempt to combine EMI with Warner would similarly be blocked unless there are substantial remedies to solve the competition problems of going from four to three majors."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz