On 14 November 2014, the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC) imposed a fine of € 3 103 196 on Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE) for abusive practices concerning the management of intellectual property rights of authors in relation to the public communication of musical works at concerts in Spain.
In particular, the CNMC found that the high level of fees requested by SGAE for the public communication of musical works at concerts in Spain constitutes an abuse of a dominant position. The CNMC assessed the level of fees applied by SGAE and compared it to the level of fees applied by similar organisations in other member states, concluding that they were set at a much higher level than in other European countries without any objective economic justification. The authority concluded that SGAE abused its dominant position on this market, thereby infringing Article 102 TFEU and its equivalent under Spanish Competition Act.
To set the amount of the fine, the CNMC has taken into account the dimension of the affected market, SGAE’s market share, the characteristics and duration of the infringement, its effects on consumers and competitors and the illicit gains obtained by SGAE.
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