October 24, 2021

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U.S. retaining audio licensing decrees that help Spotify, many others

2 min read

Adds remark from ASCAP, BMI

WASHINGTON, Jan 15 (Reuters)The U.S. Justice Department’s leading antitrust official said on Friday the administration will not scrap many years-previous agreements with new music licensing groups ASCAP and BMI that keep down expenses for Spotify Spot.N and other individuals.

The department’s evaluate of the subject experienced been intently viewed considering the fact that scrapping the 1941 consent agreements could upend the enterprise of licensing audio to on the net firms like Spotify and Pandora as properly as film providers, commercials, bars and restaurants.

Devoid of the decrees, companies of any sizing trying to find to enjoy new music would have to negotiate rights in a chaotic transition while also struggling with the prospect of price hikes, said the MIC Coalition, whose users consist of the Brewers Affiliation and Countrywide Cafe Affiliation.

Makan Delrahim, the head of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division who techniques down following week, claimed in speech that the “investigation interval” was closing.

“The ASCAP and BMI consent decrees need to be reviewed every 5 several years, to assess no matter if the decrees go on to achieve their objective to shield competitors and whether or not modifications to the decrees are proper in light of variations in technological innovation and the new music business,” Delrahim added in a speech to Vanderbilt Law University.

ASCAP and BMI mentioned they were let down by the government’s final decision to formally close its evaluate with no action taken. “The official near of this assessment indicates we can set this subject powering us for the in close proximity to foreseeable future,” included ASCAP Main Govt Elizabeth Matthews and BMI CEO Mike O’Neill in a joint statement.

The Digital Media Affiliation, which represents Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O, Pandora and Spotify among the others, welcomed the department’s selection to sustain the standing quo, at the very least for now.

“New music licensing is intricate, but through their existence the decrees’ protections have fostered an successful market that in turn has been critical to the resurgence and advancement of the audio business,” reported the group’s president, Garrett Levin, in a assertion.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz in Washington Editing by Andrea Ricci and Matthew Lewis)

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