The EU Commission is directly attempting an evaluation of a consolidation undertaking between Universal and EMI (in respect to its phonographic activities) and between Sony and EMI (in respect to its music publishing activities).
As they are currently, the four major record companies (Universal, Sony, EMI, Warner) already act as a high market absorption. For performers, this means debilitated bargaining power and hindered contracts. The vanishing of EMI as an independent actor would require a raised amassing of the market extorts into a duopoly (Universal/Sony), which can only be anticipated to further deteriorate this already imbalanced situation.
The problems that artists have been facing in the traditional market for many years are even worsening in the digital world, from which they usually receive insignificant incomes. Should the mergers be authorized by the EU Commission, artists would lose one of the remaining few alternative routes to access the mass market. The new duopoly would also mean less investment, lower quality, fewer jobs, narrowed consumer choice as well as reduced cultural diversity.