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STREAMING UNDER (FURTHER) SCRUTINY

The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is launching a market study into music streaming, which will see it scrutinize whether competition within the sector is “working well.”

The move follows a recommendation by the government that the CMA conduct a study on the economic impact of major music groups’ dominance following the damning report on music streaming released in July.

Market studies are a tool the CMA uses to identify—and, if appropriate, consider how best to approach—competition and consumer issues. It will examine why particular markets may not be working well for consumers and may lead to a range of outcomes, including:

  • Making recommendations to change regulations or public policy
  • Encouraging businesses in the market to self-regulate (which is what label trade body BPI has argued for)
  • Taking consumer- or competition-law-enforcement action against firms
  • Making a reference for a more in-depth (phase 2) market investigation
  • Conclude a “clean bill of health”

Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA, said: “We want to do everything we can to ensure that this sector is competitive, thriving and works in the interests of music lovers. Over the past decade, the music industry has evolved almost beyond recognition, with streaming now accounting for more than 80% of all music listened to in this country. A market study will help us to understand these radical changes and build a view as to whether competition in this sector is working well or whether further action needs to be taken.”

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