Daily Management Review

China's antitrust watchdog orders Tencent to terminate exclusive agreements for music


China's antitrust watchdog has ordered IT holding company Tencent to give up its exclusive agreements with music rights holders. It fined the company more than $77,000 for violations in its takeover of China Music and ordered it to report on compliance within three years.

China's State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) has ordered IT giant Tencent to abandon exclusive agreements with music rights holders and fined the company for anti-competitive behaviour, CNBC reports. 

The antitrust regulator fined the company $77,141 (¥500,000) for violations committed during the 2016 takeover of China Music. Following this deal, Tencent, according to SAMR, became the owner of a music library comprising 80% of the music with exclusive rights to it. SAMR considered this an advantage that discriminated against Tencent's competitors and obliged it to give up exclusive music rights within 30 days and not to enter into further exclusive agreements with rights holders. Within three years, the IT holding company will report to the regulator on this matter and the regulator will monitor compliance. 

Tencent has responded by saying it will "comply with all regulatory requirements, fulfil its social responsibilities and promote healthy competition in the market". It will work with its subsidiaries, including Tencent Music Entertainment, on the changes and ensure their operations are fully compliant with the law. Tencent's business includes WeChat, China's most popular messaging service, games, music and fintech services. Tencent, which is registered in Hong Kong, has a market value of nearly $656 billion.

source: cnbc.com