MIC Coalition Applauds DOJ Action To Protect Consumers' Access To Music
August 5, 2016 at 12:15 PM (PT)
The MIC COALITION -- which comprises companies, associations, consumer groups, and venue owners seeking to preserve the right to stream or play music at affordable prices for customers in places like restaurants, bars, venues, retail locations or via online music services -- released the following statement on the conclusion of the JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ANTITRUST DIVISION's review of consent decrees governing ASCAP and BMI (NET NEWS, 8/4).
“The MIC COALITION applauds the DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ANTITRUST DIVISION for completing a thorough, multi-year review of the longstanding voluntary consent decrees governing ASCAP and BMI after consideration of extensive input from music publishers, music users and the PROs themselves.
"The decision to maintain current protections against anti-competitive behavior ensures that even though ASCAP and BMI control more than 90% of the U.S. music marketplace, music licensees can continue to access music under a system that fairly compensates music creators for their work.
"DOJ is absolutely correct in clarifying that music users who purchase ASCAP and BMI blanket licenses unambiguously obtain the unlimited right to play the songs in these organizations’ repertoires. ASCAP and BMI’s own contracts and public representations of their licenses make clear that this is and always has been standard operating procedure. Deviating from this widely accepted practice would significantly harm consumers, services, venues and songwriters.
ASCAP and BMI’s massive market power remains as real a threat to a fair and competition-driven music marketplace as it has ever been. DOJ’s decision to maintain the current protections of the consent decrees appropriately serves as a check against antitrust violations that would create unworkable cost and complexity for those looking to play music publicly.”