The EU Court of Justice rules on the royalty mechanism of a Belgian collecting society in a situation of de facto monopoly (SABAM / W.W, WCD)

On 25 November 2020, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) handed down its preliminary ruling in response to the request by the Ondernemingsrechtbank Antwerp as to the interpretation of Article 102 TFEU. The disagreement between Weareone.World and Wecandance on one side, and SABAM, a Belgian collecting society, on the other, revolved around the basis and amount of the licence fee (tariff 211) paid by festival organisers. Answering the first question asked, the ECJ specified that a collecting society with a de facto monopoly does not abuse its dominant position simply by having tariffs based on gross revenue from ticket sales, or artistic budget. As to the second question, flat-rate tranches (such as the ⅓-⅔ used by SABAM) are allowed if no reasonably priced technology exists which can

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Hendrik Coppoolse, Lou Fuseau, Caroline Pianelli, Mathilde Despas, The EU Court of Justice rules on the royalty mechanism of a Belgian collecting society in a situation of de facto monopoly (SABAM / W.W, WCD), 25 November 2020, e-Competitions November 2020, Art. N° 99229

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