A559- - Antitrust: the ICA orders Meta to resume negotiations with SIAE. Musical works available again on Facebook e Instagram
The Authority adopts interim measures concerning the alleged abuse of economic dependence by Mark Zuckerberg’s group, which will also have to provide all information needed in the context of resuming the negotiations. Musical content will be available subject to prior authorisation by SIAE.
The Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato decided to adopt interim measures against Meta Platforms Inc., Meta Platforms Ireland Limited, Meta Platforms Technologies UK Limited e Facebook Italy S.r.l. (Meta group) within the proceedings initiated on 4 April 2023 for an alleged abuse of economic dependence towards SIAE in the context of the negotiations for licensing the use, on Meta’s platforms, of rights for musical content.
After having heard the parties, that also submitted their written comments, the Authority assessed the existence of the requirements for the adoption of interim measures. In particular, SIAE’s economic dependence from Meta has been identified by the Authority on the basis of the presumption for digital platforms set by article 9 of Law nr 192/1998. The Authority stressed that in this case the criteria for the assessment must be different from the ones usually taken into account for other traditional industries. Within this framework, Meta’s conduct appears abusive and suitable to cause serious and irreparable detriment to competitive dynamics in the markets of copyright licensing, having an impact on all the parties belonging to the supply chain (authors, rightholders contributing to the creation of musical works protected by copyright law, collecting societies that protect those rights, final users).
Therefore, the Authority ordered Meta to immediately resume negotiations, while holding a standard inspired by the principles of good faith and fairness, and to provide all the information needed to allow SIAE to restore the balance in the commercial relationship with Meta.
In addition, subject to prior authorisation by SIAE, Meta will be required to restore the availability of musical works on Facebook and Instagram.
Finally, the Authority decided that, in case of disagreement between the parties on the quantity and the quality of the information to be provided by Meta, it will appoint a trustee that shall identify that information. This trustee shall be a third party, independent and with adequate technical expertise.
Rome, 21 April 2023