UK antitrust regulator will investigate music streaming. The music streaming sector will have scrutinized closely by the United Kingdom’s antitrust regulator. A market analysis of music streaming will have conducted as soon as feasible. According to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which said today that it will be conducting the study as part of its ongoing efforts to increase competition in digital markets.
It employs market studies to uncover difficulties relating to competition and consumers. And, if necessary, to determine the most effective means of addressing those concerns.
To what extent could corrective measures imposed by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) affect how mobile app stores and music streaming giants like Apple Music and Spotify operate in the future in the United Kingdom?
“On 13 October, the Board discussed early suggestions to carry out a markets project on music streaming,” according to a letter to MPs from the regulator. The specific scope of the research has not yet defined. But the regulator has stated that it will prioritize the work. They agreed that work in this area was consistent with the CMA’s prioritization principles. And that it contributed to the CMA’s strategic goal of fostering effective competition in digital markets by ensuring that they operate in a way that promotes innovation and the interests of consumers, among other things. On this premise, the Board of Directors agreed that it would be beneficial to proceed with a market analysis. They also agreed that this work should prioritized in light of the issues you have collectively stated. And that it should be the next market study that the CMA launches as a result of your collective concerns. The CMA’s team will now prioritize more thorough future work to develop and scope this project, which will begin immediately. Accordingly, the Board will take another look at the matter with a view to officially initiating the market study as soon as is practically possible.”
According to a report released earlier this summer by the House of Commons Economic Affairs Committee. The music streaming market’s economics are fraught with dangers. It includes the possibility of a monopoly by major record labels and contractual agreements between them and streaming services that would stifle innovation
In its response to the DCMS Select Committee report, the government requested that the CMA investigate the economics of the market in order to address concerns about transparency and fairness. The CMA has given the task last month.
The CMA’s CEO, Andrea Coscelli, said today that the UK has a “long-standing love affair with music streaming”. And is home to many of the world’s most popular performers. This industry’s competitiveness, growth, and working in the best interests of music fans are our top priorities. “The music industry has changed almost beyond recognition in the last decade. With streaming accounting for over 80 percent of all music listened to in this country.,” said one analyst. ‘A market research will help us better understand these important trends. And create an opinion on whether competition in this sector is working well or whether more action has required.
Because of the government’s desire to address concerns about the influence of tech giants, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is extending its knowledge base on digital issues. The CMA is likely to play a larger role in supervising the digital sector as a result.
A Digital Markets Unit has already established within the regulator. And legislation has currently drafted to grant it full authority. The CMA, on the other hand, has not been sitting on its hands while waiting for the government to adopt reform legislation.
Prior to this, it performed a study of the online advertising market, which resulted in the identification of a number of issues. The issues that appear to be informing the government’s revision of the United Kingdom’s digital competition regulations. As a result, Google’s intentions to phase out third-party tracking cookies have put on hold. And the tech giant has provided guarantees about how its substitute, the ‘Privacy Sandbox,’ will work. This investigation is still open.
Apple and Google’s Domination
Additionally, the CMA launched a market study earlier this year to examine Apple and Google’s domination of the mobile ecosystem. In addition, the Federal Trade Commission is looking into Apple’s App Store at the same time. Regulators in the European Union are a step ahead of their counterparts in the United Kingdom when it comes to music streaming services. The Competition Commission of the United Kingdom charged Apple with an antitrust violation relating to competition in the music streaming services market in April.
European music streaming rival Spotify has long complained that Apple’s terms and conditions are ‘unfair,’. Though the EU’s competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager has stated that the case is not specifically about Spotify. But rather about the conditions that Apple imposes on all music streaming providers who are attempting to reach customers through its App Store, according to the EU.
Since the EU has identified difficulties that need to be addressed. It is a reasonable bet that the CMA’s market research will also identify issues that need to be addressed.
But what the UK regulator will recommend if it discovers problems remains to be seen. The regulator has a range of options available to it. It includes making recommendations to the government to change regulations or public policy; encouraging relevant businesses to self-regulate; taking consumer or competition law enforcement action against firms; or opening a more in-depth market investigation.