Universal Music Group said it has received conditional approval from the European Commission to buy BMG Music Publishing for $2.2 billion.


The deal makes the label, which is a subsidiary of Vivendi SA and has substantial operations in Burbank, the world's largest music publisher.


"The Commission found that the proposed merger, as initially notified, raised serious doubts as regards adverse effects on competition in the market for music publishing rights for online applications," the European Union's executive said in a statement. "However, the commission's investigation found that these concerns would be removed by the remedies package proposed by the parties concerning the divestiture of a number of publishing catalogues."


Independent music publishing group Impala, a group that represents 3,500 independent labels and music publishers, opposed the deal saying the takeover would consolidate power in the industry into few hands and thus impede competition. Impala was able to temporarily annul the merger earlier this year.


Under the approval, Universal will have access to thousands of song rights of BMG Music Publishing while divesting in a number of catalogues within the 30-member European Economic Area, which also includes the European Union.


The catalogues to be divested are Zomba UK, 19 Music, 19 Songs, BBC music publishing, Rondor UK as well as an EEA license for the catalogue of Zomba US.

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