News In Brief

The music industry megamerger between Time Warner and EMI Group PLC appeared likely to be called off after commissioners from the European Union drafted a decision to veto it, published reports said. The proposed $20 billion deal, announced Jan. 23, would have resulted in one of the world's largest companies in its field. But the EU commissioners were said to be opposed on grounds that it would cut the number of major players in the recorded-music market to just four, opening the door to price-fixing. The companies said they'd try to revise their plan, but doing so successfully would be a first. Of the five proposed mergers blocked by, or withdrawn from consideration before, the European Commission this year, none has been resubmitted, according to The Financial Times.

In a move that took the financial community by surprise, the European Central Bank (ECB) raised interest rates across the board by 0.25 percent. The increase was the sixth this year, and analysts predicted it wouldn't be the last as the ECB continues to intervene to support the struggling euro. Although the common currency has shown signs over the past two weeks that it's stabilizing, it hit a record low of 0.844 against the US dollar Sept. 20.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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