EMI tries to salvage music merger

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The Independent Online

EMI executives will meet the European Competition Commissioner, Mario Monti, on Monday in a bid to salvage their $20bn (£14.3bn) music venture with Time Warner, following indications that the deal will be blocked.

EMI executives will meet the European Competition Commissioner, Mario Monti, on Monday in a bid to salvage their $20bn (£14.3bn) music venture with Time Warner, following indications that the deal will be blocked.

Although the European Commission yesterday denied that it has taken any decision on the planned merger of the two companies' music units, a leaked internal document warned the proposal was "highly likely" to create an oligopoly.

"We have not yet taken a decision," said Amelia Torres, a Commission spokeswoman, adding that the leaked paper was "merely an internal document" drafted to facilitate discussion.

However, Ms Torres reiterated the concern about the concentration of ownership in the music business.

Amanda Conroy, a spokeswoman for EMI, said: "It is only against the backdrop of an anticipated negative decision that a settlement can be reached. Talks are on-going."

On Monday, EMI will be under pressure to offer concessions. That may mean relinquishing labels or copyrights.

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