China to order Tencent Music to give up music label exclusivity

No end in sight for regulatory problems in China. China’s antitrust regulator is poised to order the music streaming arm of Tencent Holdings Ltd to give up exclusive rights to music labels, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said on Monday

The penalty, plus a 500,000 yuan ($77,150) fine for misreporting the acquisition of two apps, is the culmination of an investigation by the State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR) into Tencent Music Entertainment Group, China’s dominant music streaming company, sources told Reuters.

In April, Reuters reported that the regulator was preparing to fine Tencent Holdings as part of a sweeping antitrust clamp-down on the country’s internet giants, with two people saying the company should expect a penalty of at least 10 billion yuan.

The people said at the time that the gaming and social media leader was lobbying for a more lenient penalty.

Under the terms of the penalty, SAMR will fine Tencent Music for not properly reporting the 2016 acquisitions of competing apps Kugou and Kuwo for antitrust review, an offence capped at 500,000 yuan, the people said.

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