find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Corporate Lawyer
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· 12 months fixed term opportunity
View details
Property lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Property Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Impressive client list, national firm · Well-led and high-performing team
View details
Indie labels not at risk from major music merger

Indie labels not at risk from major music merger

The latest wave of consolidation in the Australian music industry does not pose any immediate threat to the country’s independent labels, according to an intellectual property expert.

Last month, the Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR) slammed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) decision not to oppose Universal Music’s acquisition of the EMI group.

The AIR has claimed the merger will see “Universal’s market power exert undue influence on fledgling digital business models as well as control of access to market through media, digital retail and physical retail”.

Matthew Hall, a partner at Swaab Attorneys, told Lawyers Weekly that it’s understandable that independent labels are concerned; however he doesn’t believe the merger will be - as AIR put it - “bad for the health of the Australian independent music sector” and result in decreased musical diversity and consumer choice.

“A merger like this is something that needs to be looked at very carefully to ensure it doesn’t lead to potential lessening of competition in the market,” said Hall.

“The ACCC conducted a comprehensive process where they’ve clearly analysed the number of separate functional markets and considered what potential impacts there may be on those markets to form its view.”

Hall said he thinks this is particularly interesting in the digital space.

According to the AIR, Universal and EMI’s combined market share in Australia is “likely to exceed 50 per cent of recorded music sales” and it disputes every one of the ACCC’s arguments that the combined entities will not reduce competition.

The AIR said that it’s deeply concerned that Universal’s digital business practices will curtail innovation while resulting in increased equity in selected existing digital service platforms.

“I don’t understand that argument, especially in terms of digital distribution,” said Hall.

“The fact there is a large player doesn’t necessarily prevent a small player from starting up.

“The Commission has stated there’s no high barrier to entry for new small-scale independent record companies who can compete to sign and represent new artists.”

Hall added that one of the great benifits of digital distribution is people can establish highly-niche products and a highly-niche repertoire to targeted markets easily and relatively cheaply.

Meanwhile, in another music industry link-up announced last week, Sony and Universal have partnered with Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) in their digital music business Digital Music Distribution (DMD).

The joint-venture deal sees SCA become an equal shareholder of DMD with the two music giants. DMD currently services Foxtel with 29 music channels as well as providing content to Satellite Music Australia for their hotel and club service and various retail outlets.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Indie labels not at risk from major music merger
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Warning
Aug 23 2017
NT Law Society sounds alarm on mandatory sentencing
The Law Society Northern Territory has issued a warning over mandatory sentencing, saying it hasn’...
Unite
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, even how we take a...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...