EC, US Approve Sony-BMG, Reed-ChoicePoint Takeovers

The European Commission has cleared Sony’s (NYSE: SNE) acquisition of BMG’s 50 percent stake in their Sony-BMG JV, creating Sony Music Entertainment. The EC ruled the acquisition “would not lead to any horizontal overlaps in the music recording markets, examined at the creation of Sony BMG, as Sony has no other music recording activities in the European Economic Area”. The 2004 merger was a long-running EC case, initially overturned by a court in 2006 before being reinstated in another review last year. Still, indie label group Impala is protesting the latest twist (via Reuters).

Meanwhile, the US Federal Trade Commission has cleared Anglo-Dutch B2B publisher Reed Elsevier’s (NYSE: RUK) proposed $4.1 billion acquisition of insurance, business and government decision data provider ChoicePoint. The takeover target agreed to sell its US public records business to Thomson Reuters (NASDAQ: TRIN) in order to win clearance, Reuters reported.