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European Union Could Split Sony BMG

A day after announcing it was fining Microsoft 280.5 million euros for not complying with an antitrust ruling, the European Commission on Thursday said it planned to reevaluate the merger between Sony Music and BMG, and could end up splitting up the music company.

The decision surrounds a finding that the 2004 merger would not harm customers. Independent record label Impala filed a challenge stating European antitrust regulators made false assumptions that promotional discounts would inhibit the creation of a monopoly.

The European Court of First Instance agreed with Impala's assessment, saying, "The commission did not demonstrate to the requisite legal standard either the nonexistence of a collective dominant position before the concentration or the absence of a risk that such a position would be created as a result of the concentration."

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