|Author (Person)||Chapman, Peter|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol 7, No.19, 10.5.01, p17|
Small independent music labels risk being shut out of the e-commerce market after major companies formed two online alliances, claimed to be in breach of anti-trust rules.
The warning follows the set up of Duet - a venture between Vivendi/Universal, Sony and Internet portal Yahoo - and MusicNet, whose partners include AOL Time Warner, BMG and EMI.
Duet's members represent 49% of global music sales, just ahead of MusicNet, whose partners enjoy 44% - bolstered by the chart-topping success of stars such as EMI's Janet Jackson.
Philippe Kern, secretary-general of the independent music companies association (IMPALA), says the scale of the tie-ups will create Internet sales powerhouses - leaving small labels on the side lines.
At the same time he believes the big firms will to use their economic power and know-how to act as "gatekeepers to dictate Internet music delivery options".
He says unless the majors cut a deal to include their smaller rivals, they risk complaints to competition authorities.
Kern says IMPALA has already set up meetings with competition officials to discuss the issue. Its members include 1,500 independent labels across the world including the UK's Cooking Vinyl, V2 Music Group, the US's Tommy Boy and Spain's Alondra.
Amelia Torres, spokeswoman for Competition Commissioner Mario Monti, said she "would be surprised if these joint ventures were not in one way or another examined in due time".
"This is a market that is highly concentrated. It justifies the Commission keeping a close eye."
Small independent music labels risk being shut out of the e-commerce market after major companies formed two online alliances, claimed to be in breach of anti-trust rules. The warning follows the set up of Duet, a venture between Vivendi/Universal, Sony and internet portal Yahoo, and MusicNet, whose partners include AOL Time Warner, BMG and EMI.
|Subject Categories||Business and Industry, Internal Markets|