On March, 6, 2007, the Netherlands Competition Authority (NCA) concluded that it was impossible to determine the excessive nature of fees applied by royalty collection organisations. The NCA investigation was prompted by complaints from pub owners in the Netherlands, who argued that these organisations were abusing their dominant position by charging excessive fees for the right to play music. The NCA considered that there was no satisfactory method or benchmark that could be used to determine what the normal 'price' should be for songs. In particular, a cost/price analysis was not considered to give appropriate guidance. The NCA's ruling is in line with the European Commission's long-held reluctance to investigate allegations of excessive pricing because of the difficulty of establishing a reasonable benchmark.
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