Chinese regulator bans Tencent exclusive rights to online music

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s market regulator on Saturday said it would ban Tencent Holdings Ltd from granting exclusive copyright in music and fined it for unfair trading practices in the music market in line after its acquisition of China Music Corporation.
The Chinese government has stepped up its antitrust actions in recent months against the country’s big tech companies, including a record fine of $ 2.75 billion imposed on e-commerce giant Alibaba for engaging in anti-competitive behavior.
Tencent and Tencent Music Entertainment Group, the unit created from the acquisition, said they will abide by the ruling and comply with all regulatory requirements.
The State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR) said it has investigated Tencent’s activities in the online music streaming platform market in China, in which the music copyright is the main asset, in a notice published on its official website.
Reuters announced in mid-July that the antitrust regulator would order Tencent’s music streaming arm to relinquish exclusive rights to music labels it has used to compete with smaller rivals, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
Tencent held more than 80% of the music library’s exclusive resources after its acquisitions, the regulator said, increasing its influence over upstream copyright parties and allowing it to restrict new entrants, the regulator said.
SAMR has stated that Tencent and its affiliates must not enter into exclusive copyright agreements with the upstream owners of such rights, while existing agreements must be terminated within 30 days of regulatory notice. .
The regulator also ordered Tencent to pay a fine of 500,000 yuan ($ 77,150).
Earlier this month, the regulator announced it would block Tencent’s plan to merge the country’s two main video game streaming sites, Huya and DouYu, on antitrust grounds.


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