Opponents of the Sony BMG merger have accused the European Commission of unfairly delaying the disclosure of its justification for clearing the deal.

Opponents of the Sony BMG merger have accused the European Commission of unfairly delaying the disclosure of its justification for clearing the deal.

In a statement issued today (Sept. 20), Brussels-based independent labels trade body Impala says it has written to European anti-trust authorities to complain about the two-month delay in issued details on the decision.

Impala was a vociferous opponent of the merger, and had warned that it would not rule out legal action to contest the deal. Without the publication of data on the deal, Impala says it is unfairly impeded from pressing ahead with an appeal.

"We appreciate that issues of confidentiality have to be reasonably resolved," comments Martin Mills, Impala board member and chairman of London-based indie Beggars Group. "However, it is an essential matter of law and procedure, as it is in any merger, that the fullest non-confidential details of the decision are made available promptly to interested third parties."

An EC spokesperson says the body appreciates that the text of its decision is "eagerly awaited," but says the delay was "not excessively long" when taking into account the summer break.

"One of the merging parties has already done its homework, and the other one is expected to follow suit, so hopefully, we'll be able to publish it very soon," the spokesperson says.

Third parties will have two months from the time they receive the text to file an appeal, the Commission says.

The EC approved the merger on July 19.

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