BMG's management is expressing confidence that anti-trust authorities will approve the company's planned merger with Sony Music. In an interview today (March 30) with Billboard.biz, BMG chairman/CEO R

BMG's management is expressing confidence that anti-trust authorities will approve the company's planned merger with Sony Music. In an interview today (March 30) with Billboard.biz, BMG chairman/CEO Rolf Schmidt-Holtz said he is optimistic about the outcome of separate reviews by the German cartel office and the European Commission in Brussels.

"Brussels has been given what I consider to be very good arguments in support of the planned merger," Schmidt-Holtz said. As previously reported, the EC's competition commission is in the in-depth, "Phase 2" stage of its probe.

Schmidt-Holtz declined to give details of the case BMG has presented to the competition authorities.

Gunter Thielen, chairman/CEO of BMG parent Bertelsmann, today told a media gathering in Berlin that he expects a decision on the merger to be made by the end of September, at the latest.

Thielen, who was in Berlin to present the company's 2003 financial results, said BMG