Washington, D.C. — June 5, 2019 — The U.S. Department of Justice announced today that it has opened a formal comment period to seek public input on the consent decrees that govern ASCAP and BMI, two major performing rights organizations that together control 90 percent of the music licensing market across the country. The MIC Coalition, whose members provide music over the nation’s airwaves, the internet and in stores, hotels, restaurants, bars and taverns across the country released the following statement:
Less than three years ago, the Department of Justice completed a multi-year review of the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees, concluding that they should not be altered. The MIC Coalition was formed to preserve the fundamental guidelines contained in the decrees, which are vitally important to millions of businesses and their consumers across the country.
The MIC Coalition looks forward to highlighting the critical role the consent decrees continue to play in the proper functioning of the music licensing marketplace. Throughout their successful history, the decrees have helped mitigate anti-competitive behavior, while also ensuring songwriters and creators get paid when their music is played in the millions of American venues. The modification, elimination or even the possible sunset of the decrees at the present time would lead to chaos for the entire marketplace.