Italy Probes Meta for Abusing its Position in Music Rights Case

TECHNOLOGY

Meta Platforms may have abused its position in negotiating the rights to music posted on the platform, which could harm competition in the sector, according to Italy’s antitrust authority’s announcement on May 5, 2023.

The Italian Society of Authors and Publishers, or SIAE, is involved in the conflict. The antitrust regulator said in a statement that Mark Zuckerberg’s company may have obstructed negotiations for the terms of licensing SIAE’s music rights for use on its platform.

According to the regulator, Meta obstructed negotiations for the renewal of contracts that had been terminated by removing music content that was protected by SIAE from its social platforms. However, Meta did not provide SIAE with the information that was required to negotiate in accordance with the “principles of fairness and transparency,” as stated by SIAE. Its actions could cause serious harm to consumers and hurt competition in relevant markets.

Meta, the company that owns Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, was unable to reach an agreement with SIAE to renew the copyright license last month. Consequently, SIAE has blocked all songs on its platform since March 16, 2023.

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Meta will fully cooperate with the investigation conducted by the Italian Competition Authority. A Meta spokesperson said that the company places a high priority on safeguarding the copyrights of songwriters and artists.

Meta Platforms Technologies UK Ltd., Meta Platforms Ireland Ltd., and Meta Platforms Inc. are all involved in the investigation.