The European Commission is not satisfied that the proposed hook-up between US Universal and Germany's Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) would not harm competition in the European music publishing sector.

Commenting on the already concentrated nature of the market, the Commission opened a full investigation into the proposed US$2.2 billion (1.7 billion) merger on 8 December.

Universal and BMG, currently the world's third and fourth largest music publishers, respectively, would jump to world leader if the merger went ahead, overtaking their great rival EMI.

In Europe, there are only five major players - Universal, BMG, EMI, Warner and Sony.

The Commission is worried about a further concentration of the European market and the emergence of a possible monopoly. It is also likely to be wary of getting it wrong again. In July 2004, the Commission authorised a similar deal between BMG and US company...

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