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Brussels, 9 th September 2009

Mergers: Commission clears proposed music joint venture between Bertelsmann and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of joint control by Bertelsmann AG of Germany and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co LLP (KKR) of the US over a newly created music publishing and rights management venture, which would in turn acquire music publishing assets from Crosstown Songs America LLC of the US. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

Bertelsmann is an international media company active in TV and radio, book publishing, media services and book and media clubs. KKR is a private equity investment firm, with funds active in a range of businesses, including TV and radio through ProSieben.

The proposed concentration involves two interrelated transactions. First, Bertelsmann and KKR would establish a joint venture to which Bertelsmann's activities in music publishing and recorded music would be contributed. Secondly, the joint venture would acquire music publishing assets from Crosstown.

The Commission found that the proposed concentration would not give rise to any competition concerns, given the very small market share of the joint venture in music publishing and recorded music. The Commission also analysed the vertical links between the joint venture's activities in music publishing and recorded music and Bertelsmann's and KKR's activities in TV and radio. The Commission found that the parties would not have the ability or the incentive to close off their competitors in TV and radio or the joint venture's competitors in music publishing and recorded music because of the limited size of the proposed joint venture.

Further information on the case will be available at:

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