The EU's competition regulator says it is launching an in-depth probe of Universal Music Group's planned acquisition of part of the iconic British music company EMI — home to The Beatles, Coldplay and Katie Perry.
The European Commission said Friday the deal for the recording division of EMI would make Universal Music "almost twice the size of the next largest player" in Europe's recorded-music market.
Notably, the Commission said even music piracy doesn't appear to sufficiently constrain the combined company.
Universal, which is owned by France's Vivendi, said in November that it would buy the division for $1.9 billion.
At the same time, a consortium led by Sony/ATV said it would pay $2.2 billion for EMI's publishing arm.