PRS for Music welcomes provisional decision from the CMA

PRS for Music welcomes provisional decision from the CMA to release undertakings

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has today published its provisional decision in its review of undertakings given by PRS to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission (MMC) in 1997. The CMA has provisionally decided to release the undertakings. A copy of the CMA press release can be found here.

The CMA’s decision to review PRS’s undertakings is part of its wider review of the 76 existing market remedies that were put in place by the CMA’s predecessors prior to 2005, the key purpose of which is to reduce burdens on business by assessing whether any existing market remedies are no longer necessary. This systematic review forms part of the CMA’s Annual Plan for 2015/2016.

The press release issued by the CMA today states that:

‘The group of independent CMA panel members carrying out the review considers that the forthcoming implementation of the EU Collective Rights Management Directive will effectively address the areas and concerns covered by the undertakings. The group has therefore provisionally decided that the undertakings are no longer required.’

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We are pleased that the CMA has recognised the change of circumstance and shares our view that these undertakings are now no longer required and should be released.

We are operating in a much more competitive and complex environment than in the late 1990s largely due to the technological changes in the last 20 years particularly in the online world. This means that we have to work even more effectively to deliver our services and royalties to members as well as compete against new and emerging players.

Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive - PRS for Music

The CMA will now run a public consultation on the provisional decision with a view to reaching a final decision in April.

About PRS for Music

PRS for Music represents the rights of songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK and around the world. As a membership organisation the company ensures creators are paid whenever their music and songs are played, performed, broadcast or reproduced in public and provides business and community groups with access to 22.2 million songs through its music licences. With over 100 representation agreements in place globally, PRS for Music's network represents over two million music creators.

In 2016, the organisation collected over half a billion pounds (£621.5m) on behalf of its members, making it one of the world’s leading music collective management organisations.