June 28, 2019
The Honorable Lindsey Graham
Committee on the Judiciary
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Chairman Graham,
On behalf of our member businesses, the thousands of local restaurants, retailers, hotels,
breweries and TV and radio broadcast stations across South Carolina, we thank you for your recent efforts
to prevent disruption in the music licensing marketplace.
Your effective and even-handed oversight of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) review of its
antitrust consent decrees with the two largest Performing Rights Organizations (PROs), the American
Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), is incredibly
meaningful to our industries’ ability to continue to fairly and efficiently license music and perform it for
our patrons and communities across the Palmetto State.
From the Lowcountry to Upstate, whether you are shopping at the neighborhood grocery store,
listening to a high school football game on local radio, or visiting any of our hospitality establishments
across our great State, music is critical to our way of life. The ASCAP and BMI consent decrees provide
critical music licensing protections for our businesses that ensure songwriters are fairly compensated
without running afoul of antitrust laws.
Accordingly, we are grateful for your wisdom and willingness to engage the Antitrust Division
and express concern that, should DOJ move to terminate or even sunset the decrees without first working
with your Committee and Congress to develop an alternative licensing framework, severe disruption
would result to the entire music licensing marketplace. We pledge to continue to engage in good faith to
assist your Committee in exploring such alternatives and preventing this unnecessary harm to such a wide
swath of our local economy.
Thank you again for your leadership on this important matter and we ask for your continued
engagement and oversight.
President & CEO
South Carolina Retail