EMI Sale: Warner Music hires antitrust lobbying firm, UK indies take AIM at deal

The LegalTimes blog reported on Tuesday that Warner Music Group has hired the lobbyist team of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, who filed registration report paperwork with Congress last week indicating it would be lobbying on antitrust matters – presumably in an effort to block the completion of Citigroup‘s sale of EMI. The Brownstein team lobbied against the acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T last year, a merger bid which was ultimately dropped in December… Meanwhile, AIM the UK independent trade organization has launched an offensive to urge the government to review the break-up of EMI to the winning bidders in Universal Music and Sony Music (via Sony’s interest in the group which bid on EMI Music Publishing). The campaign includes reference to the extraordinary recent success of independent-label act Adele, given the current state of the industry, and that the increased size of Universal and Sony would make such a phenomenon even more difficult to achieve. It is also said to include quotes from Beggars Group chief Martin Mills calling the deal “breathtaking arrogance” and “bad news for almost everyone involved in the art and business of music”.