Universal Music Gets U.S. Approval for EMI Acquisition

UPDATED: The clearance from the Federal Trade Commission comes after the green light from the European Union, which requires asset sales, earlier in the day.

LONDON - Following conditional approval from European regulators earlier in the day, Vivendi's Universal Music Group on Friday also received the green light for its acquisition of EMI's recorded music business from U.S. regulators.

The Federal Trade Commission gave its approval for the $1.9 billion deal in a 5-0 vote with no remedial action or divestitures required.

That means that UMG will now focus on closing the transaction.
“We are pleased that the Federal Trade Commission has cleared Universal Music’s acquisition of EMI with no conditions," UMG said in a statement. "In addition to the U.S., the acquisition has already been approved by regulators in Europe, Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand. Our investment in EMI will create more opportunities for new and established artists, expand music output and consumer choice, and support new digital services."

The company added: "With a broad array of EMI artists like Katy Perry, The Beatles, Robbie Williams, Lady Antebellum and Norah Jones, we are well positioned to grow the company and offer music fans around the world more music and more choice than ever before.”

Vivendi said it was "very satisfied" with the key regulatory approvals, highlighting that the deal will "enable Vivendi to significantly strengthen its ownership of exclusive content."

The transaction will not only financially help Vivendi, but also "benefit both the artistic community and the cultural industry," it said. "With EMI, Universal Music Group will strengthen its presence in countries such as Japan, the world’s second-largest music market, increase its market share and develop its presence on all the digital platforms."

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai

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