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French group Vivendi and its Universal Music unit said Thursday they would sell the Parlophone label that handles acts such as Coldplay, Kylie Minogue and Pink Floyd to Warner Music thus gaining EU approval for Universal's landmark purchase of music company EMI Recorded Music.
The cash sale of Parlophone, worth £487 million (about 570 million euros or $765 million), "represents the main part of the application of the regulatory undertakings to the European Commission agreed on September 21, 2012, within the conditions it set forth," a statement said.
Universal Music Group and Vivendi agreed to buy EMI from Citigroup for £1.2 billion, a move that "reinforces UMG’s position as the world’s largest major with a market share of some 30 per cent," the statement said.
Universal Music expands its presence in around 60 countries via the acquisition, including in key markets like Germany, Japan and the United States, boasting names like Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, The Beatles, Katy Perry, Cecilia Bartoli and Maria Joao Pires, the statement added.
But the deal raised concerns about its effect on competition, because the combined company would have a market share of more than 40 percent in several European countries, the level at which the EU Commission felt some assets had to be sold off.
It approved the deal on September 21, adding its green light to that of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), after Vivendi agreed to sell several labels and some of the rights held by EMI.