CMA Competitions & Markets Authority

With apologies for the UK-centric news this morning, the country’s competition regulator, the CMA, has responded to the British government’s decision to refer a potential market study of the major music companies to it.

In short: “The CMA will give careful consideration to this important recommendation,” wrote its chief executive Andrea Coscelli to the relevant ministers yesterday.

His letter also outlines the important distinction between a market study and an investigation (*cough* which our initial report on the government’s response may have mixed up a little). If the CMA does decide to conduct a market study into the music industry, it could take up to a year to complete, with Coscelli noting that unlike an investigation it “does not give the CMA powers directly to address the problems in that market”.

In other words, the government would still have the final say on whether to make changes. The CMA is working on proposals for a potential market study, which will be discussed at its board meeting in October.

Coscelli also pointed out that any such study might be influenced by the CMA’s investigation (and here, that IS the correct wording) of Sony Music’s acquisition of AWAL – a probe that is not due to be finished until March 2022.

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