Apple is opposed to the proposed merger between Sony Music and BMG, the recorded music arm of Bertelsmann. The merger would potentially tip the balance of power in the music business, offering the merged music giants an unfair market advantage.
Apple is said to have "forcefully" raised objections over the enlarged music group's selling power for music downloads and potential favourable terms with Sony Connect – the forthcoming iTunes rival.
According to the Financial Times, Apple has expressed concerns about possible "vertical integration" between the merged entity and its respective media parents.
The European Commission is currently investigating the merger. The Commission said it had "decided to investigate whether the deal might create or strengthen a collective dominant position between the remaining four major record companies, and the extent to which the vertically-integrated structure of Sony and Bertlesmann could raise competition concerns."
The Commission said it is: "Concerned that the transaction might create or strengthen a collective dominant position of the major record companies in the markets for recorded music. In the course of the investigation, the Commission will also investigate further competition concerns related to the vertical integration of the parent companies in other markets (television, for example, for Bertelsmann, and music downloading services/portable music players, for Sony)."
The investigation is likely to end June 22, but the investigation "does not prejudge the Commission's conclusions and final decision", the Commission said.