Decision Nº M/03/034 from Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, 2003-11-19

CourtCompetition and Consumer Protection Commission (Ire)
PartiesBoosey & Hawkes,Classic Copyright
Decision Date19 November 2003
Decision NumberM/03/034
StatusCleared (Phase 1)
Date19 November 2003
Determination of the Competition Authority
Determination No. M/03/034 of the Competition Authority, dated 19 November
Notification No. M/03/034 – Proposed Acquisition of Boosey & Hawkes plc by
Classic Copyright Limited
Introduction
1. On 24 October 2003 the Competition Authority, in accordance with Section 18
(1) of the Competition Act, 2002 (“the Act”) was notified, on a mandatory basis,
of a proposal whereby Classic Copyright Limited (“Classic Copyright”) would
acquire, by way of a public offer, a 100% interest in Boosey & Hawkes plc
(“Boosey & Hawkes”).
The Parties
2. Boosey & Hawkes is principally involved in the field of classical music
publishing, being the business of acquiring and exploiting the copyright to the
composition of a piece of music. It derives some royalty income from Ireland.
Until recently, Boosey & Hawkes also manufactured and sold musical
instruments. That division was sold in 2003 and is not a part of this transaction.
3. Classic Copyright is a UK company established for the purpose of making the
offer for Boosey & Hawkes. It is controlled by the HgCapital Group
(“HgCapital”), a provider of private equity finance throughout Europe that has
investment interests in a number of businesses within the State. HgCapital has an
existing investment in Eagle Rock Entertainment Limited (“Eagle Rock”), a
record label active principally in the rock/pop music genre which also produces
documentaries for television and DVD. Generally, Eagle Rock does not own any
copyright of the music it releases, with the exception of a small number of its
artists.
Analysis
4. Boosey & Hawkes’ activities involve the acquisition of rights from a composer or
a composer’s estate in order to exploit those rights in exchange for an advance
and a share of the royalties generated. Exploitation is the global use of the music
by the live performance industry, broadcasters, record companies, film and T.V.
producers and printed sheet music publishers. Boosey & Hawkes is only
involved in the acquisition or exploitation of copyright in relation to classical
music. It is not involved in the acquisition or exploitation of copyright in relation
to rock/pop music. HgCapital is involved in the music industry generally through
its interest in Eagle Rock. However, Eagle Rock is not engaged in the business
of classical music publishing, and only has a very small interest in exploitation of
copyright for a small number of artists in the rock/pop genre. Accordingly, it
was found that as there was no significant overlap in the competitive activities of
the parties, common ownership between Boosey & Hawkes and Eagle Rock
would not substantially lessen competition.
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