Court of First Instance annuls Commission clearance of Sony BMG

The Court of First Instance (CFI) has delivered its decision in an appeal brought by the Independent Music Publishers and Labels Association (Impala) against the 2004 decision by the European Commission to allow a merger combining the recorded music businesses of Sony and Bertelsmann Media Group (BMG) without imposing any conditions. The CFI found that the Commission had failed to demonstrate to the requisite standard either the non-existence of a collective dominant position in the market for recorded music before the concentration or the absence of a risk that such a position would be created as a result of the concentration. Consequently, the CFI overturned the Commission’s decision to clear the concentration. DotEcon acted as adviser to Impala, and more about the background to the case and some implications for the assessment of mergers in general can be found in our newsletter discussing the Court’s decision.

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