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IEMA, VSDA merger completes

The merger between retail trade organisations the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association and the Video Software Dealers Association has now completed, creating a single unified organisation.

The merger between retail trade organisations the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association and the Video Software Dealers Association has now completed, creating a single unified organisation.

The two trade bodies, both of which have been instrumental in - amongst other things - protecting retailers and associated merchants from political efforts to govern the sale of videogames and interactive entertainment in the US, announced their intention to merge earlier in the year.

Given the similarities between the two bodies and the joint hiring of political lobbyist Stuart Spencer at the start of the year, the creation of a single, unified organisation was a logical step to take and will, the organisations hope, enable the new body to better serve the industry as a whole.

VSDA Chairman Bob Geistman commented: "By leveraging the strengths of each sector, we will have a trade association that is more efficient, more effective, and more influential than either IEMA or VSDA would have been had they continued as separate organisations."

The new Entertainment Merchants Association will represent all businesses that sell or trade in entertainment, covering mass merchants, online merchants, electronics retailers, video specialty stores, video game specialty retailers and entertainment combo stores. Additionally, any businesses that retail, distribute or supply DVDs, PC and console games will be represented by the new organisation, which intends to offer its members knowledge-sharing forums, networking opportunities, legislative and legal advocacy, research services, and more.

Bo Anderson, former president of the VSDA will head the new body, with IEMA founder and president Hal Halpin on hand to support and guide the EMA from launch.

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Paul Loughrey

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