EU clears Universal purchase of British label EMI

EU says Universal can buy British label EMI but must sell some of its biggest acts

Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Union's competition regulator says Universal Music Group can buy the famed British music company EMI but must jettison some of its biggest acts.

Among the assets that must go are the Parlophone label, which is home to Coldplay and Pink Floyd.

The EU's approval Friday is just one hurdle. The $1.9 billion purchase of EMI's recorded-music division still needs an OK from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Universal's rivals, like Warner Music and small independent labels, had strongly protested the deal, saying it would create a behemoth that could squeeze out other players.

The deal is one part of the break-up of EMI. Regulators have already allowed a group led by Sony Corp. to buy EMI's music publishing arm for $2.2 billion.

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