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Teva Pharmaceuticals Antitrust Settlement is a Win for Competition

June 5, 2015 Antitrust , FTC , Patent Reform , Patents

Last week, Teva Pharmaceuticals agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle an antitrust suit brought by the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC alleged that Cephalon, Inc. (acquired by Teva in 2012) violated antitrust law when it paid $300 million to generic drug companies to settle several patent lawsuits in 2005 and 2006. These payments required the generic drug companies to forego marketing generic versions of the patented drug Provigil until April 2012.

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What is a Consent Decree and Why Does ASCAP Need to Keep It?

July 29, 2014 Antitrust , Music Licensing

Everyone agrees that musicians and writers should be paid fairly for their work; it’s fair and it encourages the distribution of music. Right now, the consent decrees are necessary to ensuring fairness and stability in the music industry.

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UMG-EMI Merger: Deja Vu All Over Again

June 20, 2012 Antitrust , Music Licensing , UMGEMI

Tomorrow I’ll be testifying against the merger of Universal Music Group (UMG) and EMI Music.  A merger between the 1st and 4th largest record companies, in our opinion, would result in a “super-major” label with a 41% market share that would be able to dictate the future of new digital music services. The combined entity could deny licenses to new services, charge them enormous licensing rates, or even take an equity stake in the service.  

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OMG, UMG! Why Four Major Labels Are Better Than Three.

March 7, 2012 Antitrust , Competition , Music , Music Licensing , UMGEMI

Right now the biggest record label in the world, Universal Music Group, is attempting to buy the fourth-largest record label, EMI, a move that could stifle the development of new digital music services to the detriment of musicians and their fans. If one company holds a large enough share of the recorded music market, new online music services will inevitable need to curry favor with that company in order to succeed, which gives that company (here, Universal) effective veto power over new services and competitors.

Today Public Knowledge and the Media Access Project filed a letter advising the Federal Trade Commission to investigate thoroughly how the proposed transaction will affect both artists and audiences before it lets the one of the “Big Four” major labels take over another. While we are not currently asking the FTC to necessarily block the deals outright, the deals pose some serious potential harms to musicians and consumers. The FTC should rigorously review the likelihood and scale of those harms before it decides whether it should approve the acquisitions in their current form.

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Public Knowledge and Media Access Project Ask FTC Investigation of Music Deal

Antitrust , FTC , Press Release , UMGEMI

Universal Music Group’s takeover of competitor EMI, along with the sale of EMI’s music publishing business to Sony, have the potential to thwart innovation in digital music, drive up prices and minimize choices for consumers, Public Knowledge and Media Access Project told the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today.

In a letter to the agency, the two groups noted that the purchase would reduce the number of major record labels from four to three, giving the combined UMG/EMI company about 40 percent of sales.  Similarly, the sale of the music publishing business would “give it a significant blocking position” by allowing it to control 32 percent of publishing revenues worldwide.  A combined company would hold publishing rights to 64 of the Billboard Hot 100 titles from 2011, the groups said.

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