Following last week's exit of Vivendi CEO Jean-Bernard LÚvy, Universal Music is reassuring staffers that the label is still committed to its planned acquisition of EMI's recorded music division. According to the Financial Times, analysts had questioned whether LÚvy's backing of UMG's quest to acquire EMI "had added to the boardroom tension" between the CEO and Vivendi Chairman Jean-RenÚ Fourtou. Levy and Fourtou had also fallen out over a disagreement over breaking up Vivendi, in part due to its troubled French telecommunications division SFR.
FT reports that UMG CEO Lucian Grainge sent a memo to staffers assuring them that Fourtou is still "committed to Universal Music's strategic ambitions" and "fully supportive [of] and inspired by" the label's bid to acquire EMI. Grainge added that UMG's plans for EMI will benefit the entire music industry, as well as any new entrants, which FT notes was "an apparent attempt to reassure regulators, independent record labels and digital music services that it would not exert undue market power."
The UMG-EMI deal is still under scrutiny from regulators, but last Friday the Federal Trade Commission gave its approval of the $2.2 billion sale of EMI Music Publishing to a group led by Sony.