European Union approves Sony-BMG label union

The European Union's regulatory commission approved the Sony and BMG record label merger July 19.

The move consolidates a constricted music industry even further, putting an estimated 80 percent of the world music market into the hands of four major label groups: Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music Group, and the newly formed Sony-BMG.

The new entity is estimated to control approximately 30 percent of the global music market. Immediate fallout from the pact is the cutting of about 2000 jobs — a quarter of the combined workforce — to save an estimated $300 million.

Sony and BMG both own recording studio facilities in North America, Asia and Europe. No final decisions have been announced regarding their status, but at least one facility in the U.S. is rumored to be on the chopping block.

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