- The DOJ has sent out document requests to music publishers Sony/ATV and Universal, as well as trade groups ASCAP and BMI, regarding the consent decrees through which they provide performance rights to Pandora (NYSE:P) and others.
- The agency is investigating allegations of "coordination" between the publishers and trade groups to secure higher royalties. The probe comes after Pandora alleged during a 2013 rate-setting trial (previous) the parties colluded to change ASCAP/BMI by-laws that would allow for partial rights withdrawals, a move that paves the way for higher royalties.
- During the trial, Judge Denise Cote found proof of "troubling coordination" between ASCAP, Sony, and Universal, but had no jurisdiction on the matter to make a ruling.
- Content acquisition costs accounted for 56% of Pandora's Q1 revenue, with recording royalties (different from performance royalties) making up the biggest portion of the total. Q2 results are due on July 24.
at CNBC.com (Nov 18, 2014)