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U.S. Declines Sony, Universal Bids on Music Royalty Accords

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U.S. antitrust officials declined to rewrite decades-old agreements governing songwriter royalties in a blow to music publishers including Universal Music Publishing Group and Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

The Justice Department’s antitrust division said Thursday that it wouldn’t seek changes to the agreements following a two-year investigation, saying the terms benefit music listeners and ensure that songwriters are compensated. Music publishers had argued that the rise of digital offerings like Pandora Media Inc.’s streaming music service demanded revisions.