Last year in February Warner acquired Parlophone Records. On the side they made a deal with Impala and Merlin, the independent trade groups.
As Billboard mentions, when Warner bought Parlophone, “it had already struck a deal with the two European-based indie trade groups that it would sell, license or reach distribution agreements with indie labels for WMG assets with revenue equivalent to about 25%-33% of Parlophone’s total sales. Impala and Merlin’s endorsements of the Parlophone acquisition were considered essential in gaining EU regulatory approval”.
The indie labels have the right to look at everything in the catalog, but Warner Music makes the final call and is in control of the process. Also, in order to be eligible to bid and gain assets the indie labels or distributors had to be members of either Merlin or Impala at the time the deal was struck with WMG. The deal is said to be running until September, so let’s wait and see what happens. For more info check out Billboard.