European regulators are expected to approve Universal Music Group's acquisition of EMI Music tomorrow, following UMG's multiple concessions to sell off pieces of the label. According to The Wall Street Journal, the European Commission will issue a brief formal statement tomorrow (9/21), confirming its approval of the deal. However, UMG must agree to sell off 60 percent of EMI's European assets, measured by revenue, according to the paper's sources.
The WSJ reports that UMG will be required to sell off EMI assets that generate approximately $457 million in annual revenue, including most of its Parlophone label, as well as EMI units in half a dozen European companies. As previously reported, smaller EMI labels such as Mute, Virgin Classics and Chrysalis will also be put up for sale, as well as EMI's share of the popular NOW compilations.
One WSJ source involved the the EU approval process said, "The die has been cast and the decision has been made, though it has come at a very heavy price for Universal. The next question is whether they will recoup the losses on its disposals and whether they will go to a single buyer."
As reported yesterday, Australian regulators have given approval to UMG-EMI, with no concessions required. Here in the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been reviewing the deal and is expected to announce its own decision next week.