UK watchdog launches investigation into music streaming

Jan 27 (Reuters) – Britain’s competition regulator has launched an investigation into the music streaming market to determine whether innovation is being stifled and whether companies are wielding excessive power.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said in October that it was planning an investigation into a sector dominated by Spotify (SPOT.N), Apple Music (AAPL.O), Amazon and Alphabet-owned YouTube. (GOOGL.O). ). Read more

“The CMA study will examine the music streaming market, from creator to consumer, with particular attention to the roles played by record labels and music streaming services,” he said.

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While the regulator’s investigation will focus on potential harm to consumers, the CMA will also assess whether a lack of competition between music companies could affect musicians, singers and songwriters.

Artists have long complained that they are not getting a fair share from streaming platforms and last year a UK parliamentary committee warned that ties between music majors and streaming platforms could stifle innovation in the sector.

“If the CMA finds any issues, it will consider what action may be necessary,” he said.

In the UK, over 80% of recorded music is now listened to via a streaming service rather than traditional physical media such as CDs and vinyl records.

The CMA has 12 months to issue a market research report setting out its findings and any action it proposes to take.

Outcomes can include asking the government to change regulations, encouraging companies to self-regulate, taking action against companies, and a full and thorough investigation.

The CMA has taken an increasingly proactive role in regulating digital markets, with investigations already launched into the power of Google, Facebook and Apple in different parts of the ecosystem.

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Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru and James Davey in London Editing by David Goodman

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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