22 September 2003
Big Five to shrink by one
The original idea was for Time Warner's Warner Music Group to acquire EMI's music business.
But that was three years ago. Today, Time Warner is actually contemplating selling Warner Music to a strengthened EMI, bypassing a bid by Germany's Bertlesmann.
Either way, if this deal comes off, the former Big Six, then Big Five, record companies will be down to four: Universal, the Warner-EMI combine, Sony and Bertlesmann.
If nothing else, it's another nail in the coffin of the so-called "synergy" business model adopted by the corporation formerly known as AOL Time Warner, which presumed that every operation could be cross-promoted for the benefit of all.