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CMA publishes issues statement for PRS review

The CMA has published an issues statement and timetable as part of its review of undertakings given by the Performing Right Society (PRS).

Crowd at a concert

The statement identifies the key issues the panel members propose to focus on during the review and on which the CMA would be grateful to receive views and evidence from relevant stakeholders.

The PRS is one of the two main collecting societies for music in the UK. It licenses musical works and administers the royalties when they are played in public or broadcast, for example on the radio or television.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced last month that it would carry out a review of the undertakings which followed a Monopolies and Mergers Commission (MMC) investigation. In 1997 the PRS gave undertakings allowing its members to administer their own live performing rights, as well as making other commitments over its corporate governance and the provision of information to the Office of Fair Trading (now the CMA).

The CMA has decided there are grounds to review the PRS undertakings. This is due to internal changes made by the PRS; legislative changes including the forthcoming implementation of a new EU Directive covering collective rights management; and wider changes in the music industry including the growth of online and digital music including downloads and streaming.

This review will only be considering whether there are changes of circumstances relevant to the undertakings such that they should be varied, released or retained - it is not examining wider issues relating to the PRS or performing rights in general.

The statement and timetable are available on the case page along with all other published information relating to the review.

Anyone wishing to respond to the issues statement should do so in writing, by 5pm on Friday 15 January 2016. Please email, or write to:

Peter Hill
Project Director
PRS Undertakings Review
Competition and Markets Authority
Victoria House
Southampton Row
London WC1B 4AD

Published 9 December 2015