Column from October 9th, 2000 issue
Thanks to the dim view the European Commission has taken of the whole Warner-EMI merger, it looks like the whole thing is off! The talk are talking about "working on ways to work together" and examining how they might present an alternate deal to the authorities, but it seems to look unlikely at this point.
Obviously the commission's reasons for vetoing the deal are entirely different from the average music fan's, but it's all the same principle. Labels and media groups in general cannot think they can try and run the world without anyone noticing!
What does it mean for the music industry? First off EMI is going to be perceived as very weak and ripe for take over by someone else. I think also the money markets' confidence to put money into labels might dwindle as the "mega deals" where brokers and manager of the companies involved get rich overnight won't be possible. Without funny money to burn the labels will take even less risks and remain even more run by pencil-necked, penny counting accountants that don't even know what a "riff" is!
Net result, even more stagnation and a continuation of the "sure thing" signings and not a hint of the old "no guts, no glory" philosophy. Oh well, I'm sure Diane Warren will get even richer as all the future signings will be assigned one of her tracks, probably the same one....