Online music joint ventures to be blocked?

The European Commission called news about its services blocking the launch of two major online music services “speculation”. Several business media had been reporting that the EU might consider vetoing the start of Pressplay and MusicNet, two music joint ventures created by some of the world’s biggest music companies.

DG Competition spokeswoman Amelia Torres on Monday 15 October denied speculations that the Commission had already decided to forbid the launch of these services. She said the investigation was still at an early stage and no decision had been taken yet.

 

Background

MusicNet is an online service set up by Realnetworks Inc., and three music giants EMI, Bertelsmann and AOL Time Warner. Pressplay (formerly called "Duet") was launched by Vivendi Universal and Sony.

The European Commission began an investigation of the online music services "Pressplay" and "MusicNet" earlier this year to determine if these joint ventures would unfairly dominate the online music market and impede competition. The US anti-competition authorities recently expanded their parallel investigation into the practices of these online download services.

 

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