Universal Music and independent trade body AIM have become embroiled in a row over the major's acquisition of the V2 label.

AIM has gone public on its submission to the U.K. government's Office of Fair Trading (OFT), criticising Universal's "creeping dominance of the U.K. recorded music market." The submission, which was requested by the OFT, also claims the major's acquisition of V2 and Sanctuary Records will "further marginalise a vibrant independent sector, serving to stifle competition and narrow consumer choice."

The submission by AIM to the OFT follows a request for third-party comments regarding the sale of V2. AIM further claims the pattern of "creeping dominance" is being replicated across Europe, where Belgian independent ARS Entertainment, Spain's Vale Music and Sweden's Lionheart E Group were all recently acquired by Universal.

However, sources at Universal described AIM's comments as "misleading," stating that Universal voluntarily filed a submission to the OFT in September and that the request for third-party comments is a standard procedure and not part of a wider inquiry. The source added that the acquisition of Sanctuary is unrelated and was cleared a month ago by the OFT.

A Universal spokesman told Billboard: "We are satisfied the V2 acquisition is pro-competitive and our voluntary filing with the Office of Fair Trading reflects this."

Universal Music Group reached agreement to acquire the V2 Music Group, which features the likes of Stereophonics and Paul Weller on its roster of artists, from Morgan Stanley on Aug. 10. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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