EC opens in-depth investigation into online music licensing issuance

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-1-15 11:04:15

The European Commission (EC) on Wednesday opened an in-depth investigation into a joint venture between three collective rights management organisations (CMOs) in the online licensing of musical works.

The CMOs contributing to the joint venture are PRS for Music Limited (PRSfM) of the United Kingdom, Foreningen Svenska Tonsattares Internationella Musikbyra u.p.a. (STIM) of Sweden and Gesellschaft fur musikalische Auffuhrungs- und mechanische Vervielfaltigungsrechte (GEMA) of Germany.

The CMOs manage the copyrights of authors, performers and writers of musical works. They also grant licences on their behalf and redistribute the royalties collected from the exploitation of their copyrights.

The EC's preliminary investigation indicated that the combination of the music repertoires currently controlled by each of PRSfM, STIM and GEMA could result in higher prices and worsened commercial conditions for digital service providers (DSPs) in the European Economic Area (EEA).

"This could lead, ultimately, to higher prices and less choice for European consumers of digital music," the EC said in a statement.

The EC will now open an in-depth investigation to determine whether its competition concerns are confirmed.

Posted in: Europe

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