Federal regulators have accused two jukebox companies of attempting to stifle competition in the burgeoning market of digital jukeboxes.
(The Hollywood Reporter) -- Federal regulators have accused two jukebox companies of attempting to stifle competition in the burgeoning market of digital jukeboxes.
The Department of Justice said Sept. 2 that it filed a lawsuit against eCast and NSM Music Group, demanding that the companies terminate a non-compete agreement.
According to the lawsuit, eCast agreed three years ago to pay U.K.-based NSM $700,000 for agreeing not to launch its digital jukebox platform in the United States. After the agreement, NSM fired the two employees who were organizing the company's entry into the U.S. market, though eCast then refused to pay NSM the agreed-upon amount. The companies then revised their agreement.
The DOJ said that jukeboxes in the United States -- 15,000 of which are digital -- take in about $1.5 billion each year. NSM also operates a CD jukebox business at its Chicago subsidiary.
Digital jukeboxes can store 300 or more CDs on a hard drive and also can draw on content via the Internet that is stored on a remote server. ECast has the rights to about 150,000 songs.