This morning, Time Warner and EMI announced that they have decided to abandon plans to merge. The merger plan, which was estimated at $20 billion, was ditched after the two companies were unable to meet the concerns of anti-trust watchdog groups. Explaining that they wanted more time to deal with the objections of the merger, the two companies withdrew their application from the European Commission (EC). The main concern of the European Commission officials was that the merger would place 80 percent of the European recording music business in just four major global companies. At the last minute, EMI and Time Warner proposed selling off several music catalogs, distribution networks, and recording labels including Virgin Records and Chappell Music in order to sooth the worries of the EC. The EC commended the companies on a "substantial" improvement, but officials still had strong doubts about the tie-up. While the two companies will continue to consider ways to successfully merge, Paul Richards, a media analyst at WestLB Panmure in London, suggested that the EMI merger may have been abandoned to ensure Time Warner's merger with AOL. Richards stated, "The AOL-Time deal must go through, it's $200 billion (in terms of the combined company's market value), whereas the EMI deal is a $20 billion joint venture."


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