The EU General Court has partially annulled the European Commission’s 2008 decision that rights collecting societies had acted anti-competitively, ruling that there is not sufficient evidence of concerted anti-competitive practice.
The ruling, in the CISAC v Commission and Others case, concerned complaints originally lodged in 2000 and 2003 against a non-binding model contract established in 1936 by CISAC, an umbrella organisation that represents collecting societies, as a guide for reciprocal representation agreements between its members.
The EU ruled in 2008 that the model contract breached its antitrust rules because each collecting society limited the right to grant licences relating to its repertoire in the territory of another collecting society party to the agreement, and ordered the societies to end this practice. CISAC and the majority of the collecting societies concerned appealed against the decision with the support of the EBU. The latter argued that the practice of granting one-stop shop licences to national broadcasters should be maintained.