A PYMNTS Company

US: Judge recommends antitrust suit against GMR be dismissed

 |  December 3, 2017

A federal magistrate has recommended that a lawsuit filed by the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) against Global Music Rights (GMR) be dismissed, concluding it was improperly filed in the state of Pennsylvania. It’s a significant win for the Irving Azoff-controlled performing right licensor in his battle with broadcast radio.

Concluding the suit was improperly filed in Pennsylvania, where neither company does business, Magistrate Judge Lynn Sitarski reported to Judge C. Darnell Jones, “There is no basis in fact or law to assert personal jurisdiction over GMR in Pennsylvania and therefore, venue in this judicial district is improper.”

The Radio Music Licensing Committee filed an antitrust suit in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against GMR in late 2016, accusing the performing rights organization (PRO) of forcing stations to pay too much for the rights to its catalog of songs, including those by artists like Bruce Springsteen, Eagles, Celine Dion, and Pharrell Williams.

In recent years, GMR and SESAC – two small PROs that are not subject to the same regulations as the larger BMI and ASCAP – have been in the crosshairs of the RMLC, which claims they violated antitrust decrees for small PROs to jack up rates for specific songs.

GMR responded with its own antitrust suit about one month later, contracting heavyweight lawyer Daniel Petrocelli and claiming the stations were operating as a “cartel,” immorally conspiring to keep prices for popular songs unfairly low.

Full Content: Hypebot

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.