A 2008 class action antitrust lawsuit against SESAC by the Television Music License Committee (TMLC), and other local TV stations reached a settlement last October when SESAC agreed to fork over $58.5 million to the television stations and their affiliates.
Calling it the “SESAC Cartel”, the TMLC filed the case to try to “restrain and prevent SESAC from perpetuating the unlawful exercise of the monopoly power SESAC has amassed, unilaterally and collectively in conspiracy with and among SESAC Rightsholders.”
Unlike the other two PROs, SESAC offered only “all-or-nothing blanket licenses”, which charged one fee to access the entirety of SESAC’s reparatory, regardless of how many songs they used, or how frequently.
Of the $58.5 million settlement, $42.5 million will compensate stations for excess costs from 2008-2014 (with the remaining $16 million covering legal fees).
SESAC will also offer individual licenses and direct negotiations, as well as submission to binding arbitration during conflict.
“We are happy to announce that SESAC has reached a resolution with TMLC,” said SESAC in an official statement. “With this settlement behind us, we look forward to achieving our strategic goals and continuing our focus on the expansion of SESAC’s technological innovation and music licensing initiatives allowing us to enhance monetary opportunities for our affiliated songwriters, composers and publishers.”