New Antitrust Investigation against ECAD (the Copyrights Collecting Office) in Brazil

The Secretariat of Economic Law of the Ministry of Justice – SDE initiated today a formal investigation against the Central Office for Collection and Distribution of Performing Rights (ECAD) (a privately owned civil society responsible for the collection and distribution of copyrights arising out of public exhibition of national and foreign songs under monopoly regime) and several associations that manage it: Brazilian Unit of Composers (UBC), Brazilian Society of Administration and Protection of Intellectual Rights (SOCINPRO), Brazilian Music Association and Arts (ABRAMUS), Maestros, Arrangers and Musicians Association (AMAR), Brazilian Society of Music Writers, Composers and Authors (SBACEM) and Independent Society of Music Authors and Composers (SICAM).

The investigation followed a Representation by the Brazilian Association of Pay-TV (ABTA). ECAD and the Associations are accused of (i) setting or offering - in collusion with competitors - prices and conditions for the sale of a certain product or service, (ii) obtaining or otherwise procuring the adoption of uniform or concerted business, (iii) limiting or restraining market access by new companies practices among competitors, (iv) posing difficulties for the establishment, operation or development of a competitor company or supplier, purchaser or financier of a certain product or service, and (v) imposing abusive prices, or unreasonably increase the price of a product or service.

Two other investigations against ECAD were previously dismissed by the Brazilian Antitrust Authority, but this time the object is different.

Antitrust investigations against collecting societies are spreading worldwide.

(Thanks to Ana Carolina Zoricic for her help with this post)

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