On August 4, the U.S. Department of Justice decided not to accept the proposed changes to the ASCAP and BMI music licensing antitrust agreements in place since 1941.
“The division’s investigation confirmed that the current system has well served music creators and music users for decades and should remain intact,” the department said in a released statement.
In response to the announcement, NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith said, “Local radio and television broadcasters strongly support the Justice Department’s decision not to modify the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees. We appreciate the hard work of the DOJ during its diligent, comprehensive review and believe that this decision will ensure that ASCAP and BMI continue to fairly and efficiently license musical works in a manner that is pro-competitive. Broadcasters look forward to continuing our close relationship with these performance rights organizations, which have worked to the mutual benefit of songwriters, music licensees and listeners around the world for decades.”
ASCAP and BMI reacted by joining forces and announcing legal action to challenge the decision in federal court.