updated 12:10 pm EST, Tue February 20, 2007
Possible EMI takeover?
Record label EMI confirmed today that it has been approached for a possible takeover by the Warner Music Group, a move which could have serious ramifications for the future of digital rights management (DRM). While Warner has vehemently opposed the easing of DRM, recently proposed by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, sources have suggested that EMI might be the first major label to let third-party sites sell its music without any DRM whatsoever. An acquisition by Warner could effectively quash any such effort. According to the Associated Press however, such concerns may be premature: an EMI statement reads that there is "no proposal currently for the EMI board consider," and likewise, a merger between the music groups of Sony and Bertelsmann was recently blocked by the European Court. The Court might well oppose a Warner-EMI merger due to monopoly concerns, since the combined company would control 25 percent of the worldwide market.