The Spanish Competition Authorities open a new file against SGAE for “Abuse of Dominant Position”.

In December we informed about our request to the Commercial Court nº3 of Barcelona to comply with the precautionary measures of December 20, 2019, which determined the anti-competitive nature of certain clause of SGAE. Now, the Spanish Competition Authorities (CNMC) has agreed to initiate, at the request of Unison Rights, a new antitrust proceeding against the Spanish General Society of Authors and Publishers (SGAE), for abuse of dominant position.

The competition regulatory body concludes that there is reasonable evidence that SGAE has committed several infringements of Articles 2 of the Competition Act and 102 of the Functioning Treaty of the European Union in relation to 1) the design and application of blanket licenses in the television and radio markets, with market foreclosure effects, and 2) the licensing of the repertoire it manages to users on an allegedly universal basis.

The CNMC thus admits the various complaints filed by UNISON against SGAE, for which it imposed various practices that prevented its entry into the rights management market, with a serious foreclosure effect, especially in the broadcasting segment. The market regulator now has a maximum period of 18 months to resolve the case.

This is the second file opened against SGAE at the request of UNISON, since the regulator resolved in May 2019 another disciplinary file for abuse of a dominant position; in that case, the anticompetitive acts took place in relation to SGAE’s management contract and bylaws, as well as several public performance tariffs.

The lawsuit filed by UNISON against RTVE for infringement of musical intellectual property rights is admitted for processing


On the other hand, we has filed a lawsuit against the national Spanish broadcaster – Corporación de Radio y Televisión Española, SA (RTVE) – for infringement of intellectual property rights over works from UNISON’s managed musical repertoire, in the aspects of reproduction, mechanicals and public performance. Said infringement is caused by the lack of license by RTVE to carry out acts of exploitation on the works managed by UNISON. It should be noted that the lawsuit is filed despite repeated attempts by UNISON to get RTVE to negotiate and sign a license that would have allowed it to lawfully exploit these works.

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