Bertelsmann, Sony merger plans approved

20th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

20 July 2004, GUETERSLOH - After winning European Union approval to merge its records division with Sony's, Germany-based media group Bertelsmann insisted Tuesday that recordings such as CDs and tapes would remain one of its "core businesses".

20 July 2004

GUETERSLOH - After winning European Union approval to merge its records division with Sony's, Germany-based media group Bertelsmann insisted Tuesday that recordings such as CDs and tapes would remain one of its "core businesses".

The European Union, which earlier this year voiced reservations about the plan, gave the green light Monday evening. US regulators have yet to issue their ruling on the merger of New York based Sony Music Entertainment and Bertelsmann's BMG.

The 50-50 joint venture, to be called Sony BMG, would be the world's second-biggest record company and would mean artists as diverse as Britney Spears, Alicia Keys, David Bowie and Michael Jackson would all ultimately belong to the same company.

Bertelsmann's other main businesses are television and publishing, while Sony is both an electronics manufacturer and film studio.

In late May, the European Commission had said the deal would be unacceptable under the European Union's competition law, and independent recording studios campaigned to stop the merger. But the approval Monday was unconditional.

Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, chief executive of BMG, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur in an interview there were no plans whatever to gradually withdraw from the recorded music business. Speculation to the contrary was "wrong", he said.

DPA

Subject: German news

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