The European Commission voted today to approve the merger of BMG and Sony Music Entertainment. The decision follows extensive consultation with all parties involved and a full investigation into the c

The European Commission voted today to approve the merger of BMG and Sony Music Entertainment.

The decision follows extensive consultation with all parties involved and a full investigation into the competitive effects of the deal.

Last month, European Competition Commissioner Mario Monti recommended approval of the deal.

U.S. regulatory approval is expected "imminently," according to a source, who says the deal could close by July 31.

"We appreciate the European Commission's diligence in reviewing all of the various aspects of the joint venture," says Sony Music chairman/CEO Andrew Lack. "We're also pleased that they have recognized that the creation of Sony BMG is an appropriate and necessary response to current market conditions. We're currently working closely with U.S. regulators to underscore the fact that this new company will be dedicated to serving the needs of its artists, while at the same time enriching the lives of music lovers around the world."

BMG chairman/CEO Rolf Schmidt-Holtz says, "Over the course of the European Commission's investigations, we have had a constructive and detailed debate about the future of the industry. We are delighted that the European Commission has decided to approve the creation of Sony BMG without imposing any conditions. We now look forward to completing the deal and concentrating on the successful integration of the two companies."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print