A U.S. Senate panel will hold a hearing on Universal Music Group’s pending acquisition of EMI’s recorded-music division, according to the Wall Street Journal and other media reports. The move adds another step to the complex regulatory review of the deal.
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, chaired by retiring Senator Herb Kohl, will likely hold the hearing this summer, a Senate staffer said on Friday. Some sources said the hearing probably will not take place before late June.
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The Federal Trade Commission and European regulators are conducting antitrust reviews of the deal. Multiple parties — including former Warner Music Chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr. — have voiced opposition to the deal, saying it will give Universal far too much market share, but others have come out in support of it.
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“We welcome the opportunity to answer any questions that the subcommittee may have, address the facts and debunk myths,” a Universal rep said in a statement. “Universal Music is committed to reinvesting in EMI to create even more opportunities for new and established artists, expand the marketplace with more music and support new digital services. We remain confident of regulatory approval.”
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An EMI spokesman had not commented at press time.
The Sony-led acquisition of EMI’s music-publishing division was approved by the EU last month.