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Multinational: YouTube music chief quits amid indie label dispute

 |  July 24, 2014

Another blow has been dealt to the delayed music-streaming project of Google-owned YouTube as its product manager has quit, reports say.

Music project manager Chris LaRosa will leave the company Friday to join a start up; La Rosa marks the second major departure from the new music service in the last year.

According to a source, both resignations were a direct result of delays that the company have had to deal with. A significant cause of those delays are ongoing disagreements between Google and independent labels.

YouTube reportedly decided not to negotiate with indie label licensing body Merlin in the UK and instead forced unfair terms on those labels. According to the labels, they had to either agree to the terms – which, they say, offered lower royalties than what was offered to major labels – or have their music content swiped from YouTube. The contracts, the labels also argued, included most favored nation clauses and other anticompetitive aspects.

One advocate for the labels, Impala, has filed an antitrust complaint with the European Commission over the situation despite YouTube’s eventual decision to negotiate with the indie labels. According to reports, similar complaints are expected in US, Brazil and other jurisdictions.

The antitrust troubles have caused significant delays to launching the project, according to reports. The first version of the streaming service was developed more than one year ago.

Reports did not indicate who would replace LaRosa at YouTube.

Full content: Wall Street Journal

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