Sony/ATV, Universal Under Investigation by DoJ

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating possible collusion on pricing by music publishing companies Sony/ATV and Universal, according to the Wall Street Journal.


The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating possible pricing coordination among music publishing companies, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

The report says the Justice Department has requested documents pertaining to licensing issues from Sony's (SNE) Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Vivendi's Universal Music Publishing. It's also requested documents from music licensing organizations, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and Broadcast Music, Inc., as the Justice Department also reviews its longstanding system for determining the costs to license music.

The Journal said the Justice Department is investigating Sony and Universal's efforts to withdraw their rights from the organizations' licensing agreements with Internet radio company Pandora (P). This, after a U.S. District Judge found earlier this year that Sony and Universal coordinated with the ASCAP to drive Pandora's licensing rates higher. That judge did not rule on the finding and the Justice Department is now investigating possible collusion by the music industry against Pandora.

In New York, I'm Brittany Umar reporting for TheStreet.

-- Written by Brittany Umar in New York.

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