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Spain Competition Commission Investigates Music Rights

Wed 2th Feb 2011

The Spanish National Competition Commission (CNC) has begun disciplinary proceedings against the General Collecting Society of Authors of Spain (SGAE). This is by no means the fist such case brought by the CNC involving the SGAE in what is a long standing cause of concern for them . The action taken is the result of a complaint filed by three restaurants for the 'alleged abuse of a dominant position' by the SGAE. The reason being for the investigation being that SGAE is charging excessive and unfair sums to permit the music that they own the rights to being played at in weddings and other public events with invited guests.

The investigation by the CNC has found practices that contravene Article 2 of the Spanish Competition Act and Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Both laws prohibit 'unfair' fees being charged for music being played at such events.

The CNC has also started disciplinary proceedings against the collecting society representing record companies (AGEDI) and the collecting society representing singers/artists (AIE). The CNC have found that they have both abused their dominant position in the market by imposing excessive prices on TV Stations in particular. AGEDI and AIE are also both accused of practices contrary to the same two articles as SGAE, mentioned above.

The CNC has a maximum period of 18 months to find a resolution for this issue.

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