On September 12, 2019, the Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, released information and comments filed in response to its call for public comment as to whether or not the ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees continue to protect competition or if they should be terminated. Filed prior to the August 9 deadline for comment, Jason Turner provided the DOJ with various materials relating to the recent dispute between ASCAP and Shane McAnally as it pertains to McAnally’s resignation and withdrawal from ASCAP, and ASCAP’s refusal to pay radio premiums for McAnally’s works licensed by ASCAP post-resignation.
In the filing, Turner advocates for the DOJ’s continued oversight of ASCAP and BMI while encouraging the Department to implement certain modifications to the existing Consent Decrees to further protect songwriters and publishers. Turner referenced the ASCAP/McAnally Arbitration Award, wherein the three arbitrators castigated ASCAP for the unfair, discriminatory and unreasonable manner in which ASCAP treated McAnally and for ASCAP’s utter lack of transparency in disclosing its rules (some of which, were found to actually not exist anywhere in writing).
Turner’s filing can be found here: