On Wednesday, Italy’s antitrust authority announced an investigation into Meta Platform for potential abuse of its bargaining power in negotiations regarding music rights on its platforms, potentially affecting competition in the industry.
The dispute concerned SIAE, the Italian society of authors and publishers.
The antitrust regulator stated that Mark Zuckerberg’s company may have unfairly impeded negotiations for the use of SIAE’s music rights on its platforms.
Meta’s removal of SIAE-protected music content from their social platforms has caused a disruption in talks for the renewal of expired contracts. SIAE claims that Meta did not provide sufficient information for negotiations to occur under the “principle of fairness and transparency.”
Its conduct could hurt competition in the relevant markets and “cause serious damage to consumers,” it added.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram, was unable to renew its copyright license agreement with SIAE last month. Consequently, all songs listed under SIAE’s books have been inaccessible on Meta’s platforms since March 16.