Tencent Music Entertainment Group’s shares were down 6.8% in New York, following reports of a probe by China’s competition watchdog into exclusive deals the social media and music platform has with the majors.
China’s State Administration of Market Regulation has launched the investigation. According to Bloomberg, it covers Tencent Music’s licensing deals with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group.
Sony and Warner have a stake in the company, which is controlled by Tencent Holdings. The parent company is also aiming to take a 10% share in Universal Music Group.
Under the terms of its exclusive licensing deals, Tencent Music reportedly sub-licences content to competitors and passes on high costs incurred as part of its arrangement with the majors.
Licenses include Alibaba Group, Baidu and ByteDance, which controls TikTok.
Tencent Music has more than 20 million tracks from 200-plus domestic and international labels.