Tencent
Courtesy: Tencent.

Report: Tencent Could Be Facing Major Fine Amid Chinese Antitrust Scrutiny

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(CelebrityAccess) — Tencent Holdings has reportedly been targeted as part of a large-scale anti-trust investigation by Chinese regulators of the nation’s leading internet companies.

According to Reuters, sources said Tencent may be facing fines of as much as 10 billion yuan ($1.54 billion) for failing to properly report past acquisitions and investments for antitrust reviews.

The State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR) is focusing in part on Tencent’s Music Entertainment Group and may be forced to give up exclusive music rights and to may be required to some of its music apps, including Kuwo and Kugou, Reuters reported.

Tencent acquired the rival Kugou and Kuwo in 2016 and has since secured exclusive streaming rights with major international labels, including Warner Music, Sony Music and Universal Music Group.

It then sublicensed some of the rights to competitors including NetEase Cloud Music, who have since argued that the price was too high and anticompetitive.

Tencent Music Entertainment Group was spun off and went public in the U.S. in 2018. SAMR launched a probe of the company that same year but dropped it in 2019 after Tencent agreed to stop renewing some of the exclusive rights after their expiration, sources told Reuters.

Tencent Music did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

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