Impala has welcomed the European Commission's re-examination of Sony Corp and Bertelsmann's music merger as an opportunity to resolve the issue once and for all.

The European independent labels trade association, by way of a statement issued today (Feb. 2), claims that the Commission's new investigation would be an opportunity to work with the majors and the Commission to revolutionize how the music market works.

Impala president Patrick Zelnik, who also runs the Naïve indie label in Paris, says the majors should work together with the Commission and independents to find a solution to the structural and competitive problems facing the whole industry. "The challenge is to empower the independent sector and respond to the industry's crisis through market access, innovation and diversity," he said.

Impala chairman Martin Mills, who also heads the London-based Beggars Group, reinforced that independents had already contributed to the Commission's investigation and would continue to. "This is essential for artists and music fans alike," he said.

Impala had appealed the Commission's 2004 clearance of the deal that created the Sony BMG music major. Last July, an EU Court subsequently annulled the Commission decision, meaning that Sony and BMG would have to re-file their merger plans for another Commission investigation.

The Court annulment came after it concluded that the Commission had failed to conduct a thorough economic assessment of the European music marketplace, and the potential impact of the merger.

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