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Brief 51: Better together? Commission adds a new tune to its repertoire on music rights mergers 22.03.16

In October 2015, the European Commission approved a joint venture between three of the largest music publishing collecting societies in Europe: PRSfM, GEMA and STIM.  As in other recent music industry mergers, the Commission investigated whether the combination of the parties’ repertoires would enhance their negotiating power when licensing digital services.  However, in marked contrast to previous decisions, the Commission concluded that larger repertoires are not able to command higher royalties.   In this Brief, we consider the Commission’s assessment and implications for other cases involving combinations of product/service portfolios, such as patent pools and airline alliances.

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