As we told you a few days ago, the European Commission has given the green light to Universal Music Group's acquisition of EMI. As a condition for the authorisation of the operation, Brussels demanded that EMI get rid of several of its labels - among which Parlophone, Mute, and Chrysalis - in order to avoid Universal gathering too much market power, which would allow for false competition. But in the whole affair, one group hasn't been heard, and they might be the most important of all: the artists on the labels which fall victim to Brussels' condition.
The first to speak out has been Dave Rowntree, drummer of Blur, who said in The Independent that “ artists are the only people currently being left out of the conversation, which is unfortunate. If the staff at the label are unhappy with the new arrangements they are free to leave, but the artists are not.”
According to The Independent, some of the labels interested in the EMI brands Universal has to sell are Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and BMG. The artists, however, have issued a warning that, if the new owners are to set new rules that go against their interests, they will think about taking steps, such as a strike, which would stop the flow of releases. We suppose that other bands will comment shortly, so we'll have to be on the lookout for new developments in the coming months.