Online music licensing venture makes offer to allay EU concerns

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 16, 2015 7:16 AM

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Three of Europe's biggest groups, which collects royalties for songwriters and performers, have offered concessions in a bid to soothe European Union regulatory concerns about their plan to set up an online music licensing venture.

The European Commission in January said it was concerned that the planned online venture by Britain's PRS for Music Limited (PRSfM), Sweden's Foreningen Svenska Tonsattares Internationella Musikbyra (STIM) and Germany's Gesellschaft für musikalische Auffuehrungs- und mechanische Vervielfaeltigungsrechte (GEMA) could lead to higher prices.

The EU extended its investigation to June 26 from May 29 after the three collecting societies submitted their concessions, the EU said on its website on Monday, without providing details.

Its preliminary review said that the joint venture would reduce the number of market players from four to two, would increase its bargaining power and could lead to higher prices for online music licences.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)