Vivendi Chairman Fourtou Takes Charge In UMG-EMI Deal
July 6, 2012
Universal Music Group has reportedly filed a confidential response to the European Commission, in response to the regulators' complaints about its pending deal to acquire EMI. However, the label has opted not to argue its position in a hearing, relying on smaller meetings and written submissions to the EU. A source tells Reuters that "The feeling is that an oral debate is not the best place for complex and detailed discussions and analysis of the deal," adding that, "It was felt that this would be best served through written submissions and meeting with the competition authorities."
Meanwhile, according to the Financial Times, Vivendi Chairman Jean-René Fourtou has taken charge in UMG's attempt to acquire EMI's recorded music division. Fourtou's involvement is interpreted as an attempt to better persuade the European regulators who have asked UMG for major concessions if the label deal is to win EU approval.
Sources tell the FT that Fourtou wants to show that UMG is willing to make concessions, rather than challenge the EU regulators' arguments. Fourtou's increased involvement will also emphasize Vivendi as a credible European company with long-term plans for prized European cultural assets owned by EMI, such as The Beatles' catalog.
As reported yesterday, UMG was given a deadline of July 5 to offer its concessions and reply to the EC.