Dance to Brussels tune for Universal

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The Independent Online

Universal Music is set to submit a raft of concessions to the European Commission today as the world's biggest record label strives to win permission for its £1.2bn takeover of EMI.

It is likely that Universal will offer to sell several subsidiaries and make a commitment not to use its dominant position to raise prices on digital music platforms. EMI's Virgin Records, which launched Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells and punk bands such as the Sex Pistols, is among the labels that could be sold, with founder Sir Richard Branson being mooted as a possible buyer.

Brussels has warned it will block the merger without these "remedies".

The deal would see Universal, home of Lady Gaga, with close to 30 per cent market share, merging with EMI, whose roster includes The Beatles and Kylie Minogue with about 13 per cent.

Regulators in Japan and New Zealand have given their blessing to the merger but it still faces approval in the US, Australia and some other territories.

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