Universal Music To Shed Publishing Assets To Gain Regulatory Approval
In order to gain regulatory approval for its purchase of BMG Music Publishing, Universal Music has offered to dump the Zomba Music Group catalog. Zomba which owns hit songs by Britney Spears, ‘N Sync and the Backsteet Boys would be set on the auction block, as well as other publishing assets.
The European Commission, which regulates competition in the 27-nation European Union, will soon send questionnaires to gauge rivals’ and customers’ views on Vivendi’s proposed sale of several major catalogues under the 1.63 billion euro ($2.15 billion) cash deal. This market testing might help Vivendi avoid a Statement of Objections, a formal charge sheet from the Commission listing problems which complicate approval of a deal. EU regulators have a June 1 deadline to take a decision.