|Author (Person)||Chapman, Peter|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.7, No.6, 8.2.01, p7|
COMPETITION Commissioner Mario Monti's investigation of alleged compact-disc price-fixing won a boost this week from the woman who helped retailers win a David-and-Goliath victory over major record companies in Italy.
Norina Vieri, president of the Italian record dealers trade association (FISMED), was in Brussels to help the EU anti-trust buster with his probe of AOL Time Warner, EMI Group, Vivendi Universal, Sony and Bertelsmann - as well as 15 traditional retailers and five online record shops.
Vieri's victory against the big five in Italy was confirmed by the country's supreme court last year. Now she wants to help Monti get the same result at EU level.
"We suspect that Mr Monti will find proof of a cartel operating in countries across the EU," said Vieri, whose group represents mainly small and medium-sized independent record shops.
She said major record companies had been found guilty of colluding over the price they charged retailers - asking dealers to absorb costs such as TV advertising campaigns.
The companies were fined €4 million and FISMED was given the right to seek damages from them. But Vieri said the majors had so far ignored her group's request for meetings to discuss payment.
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry insists that investigations in the UK, Netherlands and Italy had shown no evidence of price fixing and argues that profits from CD sales are not excessive.
Nevertheless, average EU price levels are far in excess of those in the US.
The CD probe comes at the same time as record companies are pushing for effective EU-level copyright rules to protect the industry from wholesale digital copying of their works.
Competition Commissioner Mario Monti's investigation of alleged compact-disc price-fixing won a boost this week from the woman who helped retailers win a victory over major record companies in Italy.
|Subject Categories||Internal Markets|