IMPALA Calls For Open Digital Market

The independent music companies’ association used European Competition Day to call for an open and diverse digital market and a “recasting” of competition policy in cultural markets.

On April 11, one of the two annual European competition days, Brussels-based IMPALA released a statement saying competition policy in cultural markets needs to ensure Europe builds on the essential innovation and diversity provided by its small- and medium-sized enterprises.

It applauded European competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia’s “tough stance” on concentration in the music market, which was at least partially responsible for Universal having to sell two-thirds of EMI and have its digital contracts monitored for 10 years.

IMPALA executive chair Helen Smith is hoping Europe will build on that position when tackling the digital music market.

“We look to Europe to lead the way in creating the best conditions anywhere in the world for a competitive music market,” she said. “We also need to build on Europe’s leading position in the world’s digital market and it’s clear some ‘unbundling’ will be essential when it comes to the online market’s essential facilities.

“The Google search case will turn out to be the ‘tip of the iceberg.’ These are the key challenges for competition policy today and Europe should take the lead.”

European Competition Day was marked by a two-day conference April 10-11 at Zappeion Megaron in Athens, as Greece currently holds the European presidency.

The event is a forum for the exchange of views on EU competition law and policy and the promotion of competition culture.