UK competition authority launches review of PRS For Music

The UK’s Competitions And Markets Authority (CMA), formerly the Competition Commission, is launching a review of undertakings given by CMO the Performing Right Society (PRS) following a competition investigation in 1995/6.

Following a Monopolies and Mergers Commission (MMC) investigation, collection society the PRS gave undertakings in 1997 allowing its members to administer their own live performing rights, as well as making other commitments over its corporate governance and the provision of information to the Office of Fair Trading (now the CMA).

The decision to review the undertakings follows a Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) consultation in July, which sought views on whether to carry out reviews of 13 sets of market and monopoly remedies that had been put in place by the CMA’s predecessors prior to 2005.

The CMA has decided there are grounds to review the PRS undertakings.

This, it says, is due to internal changes made by the PRS; legislative changes including the forthcoming implementation of a new EU Directive covering collective rights management; and wider changes in the music industry including the growth of online and digital music including downloads and streaming.

This review will only be considering these changes of circumstances – it is not examining wider issues relating to the PRS or performing rights in general.

The CMA expects to publish an issues statement for consultation next month setting out the main areas of focus in this work and providing details of the administrative timetable including a deadline for comments to be received by the CMA.

Interested parties with evidence relevant to the subject matter of this review of undertakings can contact the team using the following email address:

The CMA is an independent non-ministerial government department with responsibility for carrying out investigations into mergers, markets and the regulated industries and enforcing competition and consumer law.

From 1 April 2014 it took over the functions of the Competition Commission (CC) and the competition and certain consumer functions of the Office of Fair Trading, as amended by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013.Music Business Worldwide

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