EMI takeover agreed but its stars will have to be dimmed


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Some of the biggest names in British pop, including Coldplay, Blur, Kylie Minogue and Pink Floyd, will have to leave record company EMI as regulators have ordered new owner Universal Music to sell them.

The European Commission and the US Federal Trade Commission finally approved the £1.2bn takeover of EMI yesterday. But Brussels only gave permission on condition that Universal agreed to a huge global sell-off.

David Guetta, Lily Allen, Tinie Tempah, Gorillaz, Cliff Richard, David Bowie, Tina Turner and Duran Duran are among the other stars who must leave as their label Parlophone is being sold.

Universal must also jettison several other key EMI labels including Mute, home to The Ramones and Jethro Tull, and Chrysalis, which has Depeche Mode and Moby, as well as all its classical music labels.

Some industry insiders fear that the heritage of EMI, which was Britain's last remaining major record company, could be lost.

French-owned Universal, home of Lady Gaga and Take That, said the sell-off would amount to only 30% of EMI's global revenues.

EMI will still own The Beatles catalogue and the Virgin record label. Stars such as Robbie Williams, Emeli Sandé, Katy Perry and the Beach Boys will stay.

"We are delighted Universal Music will retain over two-thirds of EMI on a global basis," said a spokesman.

But Impala, the European association of independent record labels, said the ruling was not "tough enough to curb Universal's improved market position".