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In The Know: SoStereo's Weekly Music News Summary June 15, 2018

SoStereo's Weekly music news roundup with news from Stubhub, AT&T and Time Warner and more.
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Net Neutrality Is Officially No More:

Net neutrality was officially repealed this week. The fight hit a fever pitch towards the end of 2017 during token hearings before an FCC vote to repeal the rules set up during the Obama administration. It remains to be seen how internet service providers will react to this. They say they will honor the free and open internet, but as vertical mergers become more common, favoring of certain services over another as companies try and pull you into their packages could be seen. There is more attention on this issue than before, but remain vigilant with your ISPs. Read any updated terms and conditions that are sent and pay attention to new services that rolled out and how they may impact you.

AT&T & Time Warner Merge Allowed To Go Through:

After a battle in court with government lawyers, AT&T and Time Warner were allowed to merge by a Federal judge this week. The government did not ask for a stay, but could still appeal. The deal would unite AT&T’s massive distribution system with cell phone and satellite networks with Time Warner’s television shows, networks and movies. The new company said it was necessary to compete with others like Facebook and Netflix, while Net Neutrality advocates and the government were afraid this would create a monopoly on content and distribution. The company could create favorable pricing conditions for their own content through its own distribution channels, effectively creating a monopoly and shutting out competitors.

Read more here.

Sony Music Will Start Paying Proceeds from Spotify Stock Sale In August:

Sony sent an email yesterday, June 14, to indie labels that it would start paying out a portion of its profits from the sale of its shares in Spotify in April to “eligible artists and participants as soon as possible,” according to Billboard. Sony sold 50% of their shares in a 5.707% stake in Spotify, netting an expected $761 million. The email goes into more detail as to how many people will be paid. “Nearly 100,000 eligible artists and participants across almost 2 million unique titles,” are eligible.

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The money will be paid out using a formula they have described in the letter that benefits the largest artists. “Sharing will be equally based upon each eligible artist’s or participant’s percentage of SME’s overall revenue and each eligible artist’s and participant’s SME Spotify revenue during the period when the equity was held by SME.”

Sirius XM Settles Lawsuit With SoundExchange:

Sirius XM has settled a lawsuit with royalty payment collector SoundExchange. Sirius XM was accused of underpaying performance royalties and is now paying $150 million to settle the suit. “We have agreed to pay SoundExchange a one-time lump sum payment of $150 million on or before July 7, 2018,” noted Sirius XM’s filing with financial regulator the SEC. The suit will cover a period from January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2017.

Read more here.

Lawsuit Against Stubhub Allowed To Go Forward:

A lawsuit against Stubhub for “drip pricing” has been allowed to go forward. The ticketing company and its parent company, Ebay, sought to have it moved to arbitration, but a judge ruled that the case could benefit the public and is class-action so it should be allowed to move forward not in arbitration. The suit says that Stubhub often increases the prices of tickets by 20-30% by the end of the transaction. It describes the process as “only at checkout does StubHub for the first time list a total amount that includes hidden fees -- after consumers have already selected seats at a lower advertised price (that does not include fees), created a StubHub account or entered login credentials, entered credit card information, and clicked 'go to check out.'" The suit alleges that those service and delivery fees are purely for profit, which does not make sense when they are often for digital download and the seller is charged 10% anyway.

Read more here.

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