The planned £12 billion joint venture between Britain's EMI Group and Time Warner of America is to come under intense competition scrutiny by the European Commission.

A four-month inquiry will focus primarily on the place the partnership would occupy in Europe’s music publishing, recorded music, and internet-delivered music markets. The EC voiced its concern that the deal, if permitted, would leave Europe's music industry in the grip of an all-powerful quartet: Bertelsmann, Time Warner/EMI, Seagram and Sony.

EMI executive vice-president Roger Faxon said he was confident that the EC would ultimately give the green light to the joint venture.

News source: The Times (London)