Jan 27 (Reuters) - Britain's competition regulator has
launched an investigation into the music streaming market to
establish whether innovation is being stifled and if any
companies hold excessive power.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had said in
October that it planned an investigation into a sector dominated
by the likes of Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon
and Alphabet-owned YouTube.
"The CMA study will examine the music streaming market, from
creator to consumer, paying particular attention to the roles
played by record labels and music streaming services," it said.
While the regulator's investigation will focus on the
potential harm to consumers, the CMA will also assess whether
any lack of competition between music companies could affect
musicians, singers and songwriters.
Artists have long complained that they do not receive a fair
share from streaming platforms and last year a UK parliamentary
committee warned that the ties between music majors and
streaming platforms could stifle innovation in the sector.
"If the CMA finds problems, it will consider what action may
be necessary," it said.
In the United Kingdom more than 80% of recorded music is now
listened to via a streaming service rather than traditional
physical media such CDs and vinyl records.
The CMA has 12 months to publish a market study report
setting out its findings and any action it proposes to take.
Outcomes can include asking the government to change
regulations, encouraging businesses to self-regulate, taking
action against companies and a full, in-depth investigation.
The CMA has taken an increasingly proactive role in the
regulation of digital markets, with investigations already
launched into the power of Google, Facebook and Apple in
different parts of the ecosystem.
(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru and James
Davey in London
Editing by David Goodman