MySpace Music Is Anti-Competitive, Indies Say, Seeking Equity Stake

Merlin, the new “fifth major” label representing independents with nine percent of US digital music sales, has blasted MySpace Music for allowing the Big Four to profit at indies’ expense.

The site, which launched this week, is a JV with EMI, Universal, WMG and Sony (NYSE: SNE) in which the majors earn advertising revenue based on their equity stake. But the site launched without repertoire from Merlin members like Beggars Group and Domino, representing the likes of Franz Ferdinand and The Kills.

Merlin CEO Charles Caldas: “Any independent deal struck without an equity component (as was done with the majors), will see independent labels face a situation whereby their major competitors will profit from the use of their repertoire, without an appropriate upside opportunity being extended to them.