In this era of digital music services taking over the mainstream, major labels are still considered the gatekeepers of the music market. There are more legal means of listening to music than ever, but that doesn’t mean major labels don't control the content.
The four major record labels—Universal, Sony, Warner Music Group, and EMI—are reported to control almost 90 percent of the music market. If the Federal Trade Commission signs off on the merger of Universal Music Group and EMI, the new giant would control over 40 percent of the market. The $2 billion deal would mean the number of major music labels would reduce from four to three.
Last month, the Antitrust Institute urged the FTC to block the deal, believing that the merger would negatively impact consumer choice. A spokesman for Universal told The Huffington Post that disapproval is "based on a lot of hypothetical assumptions and misconceptions that are not grounded in the realities of the music business today."