IMPALA’s Unfinished Business

The independent music companies are unlikely to announce their strategy in regards to Sony buying Bertelsmann’s share of Sony-BMG until the end of the month.

IMPALA, the indies’ trade association, wouldn’t comment on its next move until the board has a chance to read through the text of the European Commission’s decision to approve the deal.

The directors met at Popkomm Oct. 9 and are likely to meet again Oct. 23-24, when IMPALA co-hosts a two-day conference with the French ministry of culture and communication.

The Paris gathering, which is called Les Arenes de L’Independence, will include discussion panels and roundtable debates. It’s aimed at bringing together hundreds of artists and record companies.

IMPALA executive chair Helen Smith said her organisation will look at all of its options. It may review how it intends to pursue the appeals before the European courts, including the one relating to the original Sony-BMG merger in 2004.

Although the Japanese electronics giant and the German media conglomerate are trumpeting the fact the deal “has cleared all antitrust hurdles,” Smith said it’s still “unfinished business” and IMPALA intends to continue its fight against the merger.

She said Sony’s purchase of Bertelsmann’s stake doesn’t alter the organisation’s opposition to the merged company because it’s “only a change of ownership.”

IMPALA used Popkomm Oct. 9 as the platform to announce its platinum, diamond, gold and silver awards, which honour independent artists.

Adele, Pink Martini and Scooter received IMPALA Platinums, which are for pan-European sales exceeding 500,000.

Editors, Mogwai, Morcheeba, Raconteurs, Vampire Weekend and The Do were among the 18 acts collecting an IMPALA Gold, which recognises sales of 100,000-plus.