Grainge, Faxon, Mills to attend Universal, EMI congressional hearing on June 21
Universal chairman Lucian Grainge and EMI Group CEO Roger Faxon will appear before the American Senate antitrust subcommittee to defend the Universal/EMI Music deal on June 21.
Reuters reports that Live Nation chairman Irving Azoff is also expected to attend as a third witness in support of the Universal bid while Warner director Edgar Bronfman Jr, Beggars’ Martin Mills and Public Knowledge president Gigi Sohn will all appear as critics of the deal.
The hearing was announced last month although a date and witness list were not revealed at the time.
The proposed sale of EMI Music, which would give Universal about 40 percent of the recorded music market if approved, is a concern for consumer advocates and industry rivals who fear the new joined unit would have too much power to raise prices.
European regulators approved the corresponding EMI deal that will see Sony/ATV buy EMI’s publishing arm in April; the Federal Trade Commission has yet to weigh in.
Congressional hearings have no formal power to affect regulators’ decisions but the Federal Trade Commission and European regulators are conducting antitrust reviews of the deal. -Music Week