European Commission Gives the Nod to Sony BMG

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.

Sony Music UK

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?