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Radio Industry Says SESAC Is A Monopoly

The Radio Music License Committee has announced the filing of an antitrust complaint against SESAC concerning anticompetitive behavior that allows SESAC to charge the U.S. commercial radio industry monopoly prices to publicly perform musical works in the SESAC repertory. RMLC Chairman Ed Christian said, “Resorting to litigation is never a first reflex for the RMLC. This legal process will undoubtedly prove to be taxing in terms of the amount of labor and expense involved. Yet, we feel that SESAC’s pattern of increasingly exorbitant rates imposed on our industry without resort to a fair process has left us with no other alternative. We hope that the goodwill demonstrated by ASCAP and BMI in working with our industry to achieve mutually agreeable licenses will inform this new challenge with SESAC.”

The RMLC complaint follows the class action antitrust lawsuit that the local television industry filed against SESAC in late 2009. That lawsuit remains pending, following the Federal District Court’s decision to deny SESAC’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

The RMLC is the industry group that has traditionally represented several thousand  commercial radio stations in music license matters with ASCAP and BMI. In fact, the filing of the SESAC complaint comes on the heels of the RMLC’s recent settlements of longstanding litigations with both ASCAP and BMI.

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