A Chinese regulator is investigating the music industry deals made by Tencent Music Entertainment, according to Bloomberg. The country’s antitrust authority, the State Administration for Market Regulation, will review Tencent’s deals with the three majors as well as other labels. The review could end Tencent’s exclusive licenses and lead to a lot of new negotiations in the nation.
Tencent Music has long been the dominant force in China’s music market. The company entered exclusive licensing deals with several international labels, then sublicenses them to other domestic music companies, such as Alibaba, Baidu, and ByteDance. Those services have said that Tencent charges them unreasonably high rates for those sublicenses. Sony and Warner own stakes in Tencent Music, which the regulator could deem a conflict of interest.