“Apple, the US computer company behind the iTunes music service, has become the latest group to oppose the proposed deal between Sony Music and BMG, the recorded music arm of Germany’s Bertelsmann media group. The development comes as the European Commission begins an intensive second-stage investigation of the merger, a probe it is due to close by June 22,” Tim Burt and Daniel Dombey report for The Financial Times.
“In an announcement on Thursday, the Commission said it had ‘decided to investigate whether the deal might create or strengthen a collective dominant position between the remaining four major record companies,'” Burt and Dombey report.
“Apple, which has sold more than 30m songs through its US internet service, is understood to have expressed concerns about possible ‘vertical integration’ between the merged entity and its respective media parents. The group declined to comment,” Burt and Dombey report. “People familiar with the situation, however, said Apple had ‘forcefully’ raised objections over the enlarged music group’s selling power for music downloads and potential favourable terms with Sony Connect, the Japanese group’s forthcoming rival to Apple’s iTunes.”
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