Tencent Holdings Ltd was banned by China’s market regulator on Saturday from exclusive music copyright agreements and fined the company for unfair market practices in the online music market after its acquisition of China Music Corporation.
The Chinese government has been escalating antitrust actions in recent months against the country’s large tech companies, including a record $2.75 billion fine Alibaba for engaging in anti-competitive behavior.
Tencent and Tencent Music Entertainment Group, the unit created from the acquisition, said they would abide by the decision and comply with all regulatory requirements.
The State Administration Of Market Regulation (SAMR) said it had investigated Tencent’s activities in the online music broadcasting platform market in China, in which music copyright is the core asset, in a notice posted on its official website.
Tencent held more than 80% of exclusive music library resources after its acquisitions, the regulator said, increasing its leverage over upstream copyright parties and allowing it to restrict new entrants, the regulator said.