The European Commission has granted regulatory approval to the creation of Sony BMG, a joint venture bringing together the music divisions of the two companies.
The Commission did warn, however, that it would be keeping a close eye on the industry as it becomes more concentrated within a small number of companies, and would “very carefully scrutinise any further major concentration in the industry.”
The venture is a 50/50 project and covers the discovery and development of artists, plus the recording and marketing of music. It doesn’t cover music publishing, manufacturing or distribution.
The Commission was initially concerned about the venture as it reduced the number of music majors to four – but was satisfied that Sony BMG would not be larger than some one of the companies in the market at the moment. The top spot is still held by Universal.