As you already know, for about a month the social networks of Meta – Facebook and Instagram – are devoid of the entire music catalog SIAE, which includes almost all the Italian songs on the market. The lack of agreement between the two parties, which was followed by a period of strong controversy, also led to the removal of a small part of the international catalogue, not yet reinstated.
In a note today, AGCM – the Italian Antitrust – let it be known that Meta will have to resume negotiations with SIAE, “maintaining a behavior inspired by the canons of good faith and correctness”. Not only that: the Authority has also ordered the social media giant to reintegrate the entire music catalog on its social networks, subject to the consent of the Italian Society of Authors and Publishers.
The intervention of the Antitrust aims to avoid a alleged abuse of a dominant market position by Meta. According to the SIAE version, in fact, Mark Zuckerberg’s company would have unilaterally imposed a figure on the Company, refusing to provide data for the calculation of a satisfactory economic proposal. A dynamic in stark contrast to current European regulations.
Meta vs SIAE: what happened and why did the songs disappear from Instagram and Facebook?
It all started on March 17, 2023, when Facebook and Instagram users found themselves without songs on social media. No music: neither Italian nor international, even with the disappearance of the catalogue Soundreefthe main competitor of SIAE in Italy.
Let’s remember, for those who don’t know, that SIAE (Società Italiana Autori ed Editori) is the main collector of royalties and copyright in Italy, and aims to protect the works of its members. This means that in order to offer users the possibility of using music in stories and reels, Meta pays the Company, which then distributes the proceeds to the authors and publishers who created and distributed that music. Apparently though the two sides have not reached an agreement.
In the following days, SIAE provided its version of what happened. Followed by that of Meta. Two very contrasting stories.
In the meantime, after a few days of uncertainty, a large part of the international catalog has returned to social networks (not all) and the Soundreef catalog has been restored. However, a problem remains: a large portion of the Italian recording market belongs to the SIAE catalogue. The Antitrust therefore intervened today to order Meta to resume negotiations with SIAEasking the social media giant to reintegrate the music and songs of Italian authors on Facebook and Instagram.