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WMG, SPOTIFY BATTLE OVER INDIA

Warner Music Group is putting the brakes on Spotify’s launch in India, requesting a court injunction to block the streaming service from using a statutory license.

A Warner Music spokesperson told Variety, “After months of negotiations, Spotify abruptly changed course and has falsely asserted a statutory license for our songwriters’ music publishing rights in India. We had no choice but to ask an Indian court for an injunction to prevent this. It’s our goal to hammer out a deal that works for everyone. We hope this is just a speed bump in the expansion of our long and successful global partnership.”

In a statement to Variety, a Spotify spokesperson said, “All other major labels and publishers have already agreed on economics and to license their music, and Spotify has also entered into a license with the local collecting society, while [Warner/Chappell] remains the lone hold-out needed for a Spotify launch in India. WMG’s abusive behavior would harm many non-Warner artists, labels and publishers, and prevent Spotify from competing in the market, leaving us no choice but to file for a statutory license.”

Statutory licenses are primarily used by radio and television broadcasters.

Spotify, which opened an office in Mumbai last year where they employee about 300 people, will face competition from the existing streaming services in India, JioSaavn and Gaana. The company never announced a launch date but it was widely believed it would occur early in the first quarter of this year.

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