HITS Daily Double

SiriusXM Sues Sound Exchange, A2IM

SIRIUS SUIT: SiriusXM has filed a lawsuit in Federal Court in the Southern District of New York against SoundExchange and A2IM, alleging that the two organizations engaged in antitrust behavior and violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act by acting in concert with other organizations to interfere with the company's efforts to obtain cheaper direct licenses that pay royalty rates of 5% to 7% instead of the 8% statutory rate for master rights owners. The suit asks for SoundExchange to be dissolved and an independent monitor appointed to oversee its compliance with the antitrust laws for a period of 10 years. Last summer, SiriusXM made a deal to obtain direct licenses with record labels, but were rebuffed by all four majors and most independent labels with only 80 signing on. SiriusXM paid almost $200 million in performance royalties, and is the main source of revenues collected by SoundExchange. (3/28p)