Italian Regulatory Agency Rules Against Meta in SIAE Music Rights Case

Italian regulatory SIAE music rights
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Italian regulatory SIAE music rights
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Photo Credit: Artapixel

The Italian regulatory agency ruled against Meta in the SIAE music rights case, ordering the company to resume talks with SIAE and put SIAE-protected music content back on Facebook and Instagram.

Italy’s antitrust agency said Friday that it had ruled against Meta Platforms over allegations the company abused its position in the country, part of an ongoing investigation of music rights. The regulatory authority adds that Meta must put Italian copyright-collecting agency SIAE-protected music content back on Facebook and Instagram.

Last month, Meta, the US-based parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, failed to reach a deal with the Italian Society of Authors and Publishers (SIAE) to renew copyright licenses. As a result, all songs under SIAE have been blocked on Meta’s sites since March 16.

The Italian regulatory agency said Meta’s conduct was harming competition in the market and ordered the company to resume talks with SIAE. The regulatory authority said it is investigating whether Meta abused the SIAE’s economic dependence on its contract with it, taking advantage of the imbalance in bargaining positions to try and force the SIAE to accept an inadequate offer, and failing to provide the necessary information for the offer to be adequately assessed.

A spokesperson for Meta said the company did not agree with the preventive measures taken by the Italian authority. Still, it welcomed the opportunity to resume talks to reach an agreement and later added it would send SIAE another request to prolong its license agreement.

“We believe it is important to collaborate with the music industry,” the Meta spokesperson said in a statement.

Meanwhile, SIAE president Salvatore Nastasi said they were ready to negotiate with Meta in the interest of Italian authors. However, Meta must provide “full disclosure of the data about its revenues” to make it possible to “calculate the correct royalties.”

“We are open to an agreement to put Italian content back on Meta’s platforms and to negotiate constructively, but in compliance with the indications of the antitrust authority,” Nastasi said.

The antitrust agency’s probe includes Meta Platforms, Meta Platforms Ireland, Meta Platforms Technologies UK Limited, and Facebook Italy.