In a very important proceeding we summarized here, the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division is reviewing the antitrust consent decrees that govern ASCAP and BMI – the decrees that require that these performing rights organizations treat similarly situated licensees (and artists) in the same way and which allow a Court to review the reasonableness of the rates that ASCAP and BMI propose. Those comments were initially due tomorrow, but the DOJ announced on its website that the comment deadline has been extended until August 9, giving interested parties more time to prepare and document their submissions. As broadcasters and internet audio companies rely on the consent decrees to regulate the fees that they pay for the public performance of musical compositions, this extension should give more parties the opportunity to consider how important these decrees are to the efficient operation of the entertainment marketplace and file their comments by the new deadline.
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