CURRENT JUKEBOX LICENSE AGREEMENT REMAINS IN FORCE THROUGH 2006
CHICAGO - The current rate structure for licensing public performance of music on CD jukeboxes will remain in place for at least one more year, through the end of 2006. Jack Kelleher, executive vice-president of the Amusement and Music Operators Association, confirmed the news to VT today. Rates will be adjusted annually for inflation, as they have been for the previous five years of the Jukebox Licensing Agreement's life. On June 30, the 180-day deadline expired for parties to the Agreement to notify each other of any desire to negotiate new rates. With no such notice having been given by either side (neither the operators nor the music industry), the terms of the Agreement automatically roll over year to year beyond the initial five-year term, which expires Dec. 31, 2005. Signatories to the JLA are AMOA; the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers; Broadcast Music Inc.; and SESAC. The Jukebox Licensing Agreement is administered by the Jukebox License Office (Nashville, TN).
PMI BUYS R.G. MITCHELL, BECOMING LARGEST UK KIDDIE RIDE MANUFACTURER
LOUTH, England , Photo-Me International PLC has acquired major assets of leading British kiddie ride maker R.G. Mitchell Ltd., making PMI the UK's leading manufacturer and operator of kiddie rides with more than 5,000 rides on location. Assets purchased for £3.9 million in cash ($6.85 million) include 3,130 sited and 350 un-sited kiddie rides, a 34,000-sq.ft. factory with its plant and equipment, and intellectual property. PMI bought Jolly Roger (Amusement Rides) Ltd. in May, 2005, having earlier purchased Jolly Rogers' kiddie ride operating arm in 2004. PMI has some 5,600 photo booths on location and is the UK's leader in that vending segment. PMI chief executive Serge Crasnianski stated: "As photo booths and kiddie rides are often located adjacently, the acquisition will leverage off PMI's unrivalled UK maintenance and cash collection infrastructure and its relationships with site owners." PMI will merge the manufacturing and management of Jolly Roger and RGM, he said. RGM's 80 employees have transferred to the PMI group. PMI now has more than 31,000 vending machines worldwide, chiefly in Europe and Japan, including approximately 20,000 photo booths.
JURY RULES IN FAVOR OF PHILIP MORRIS USA IN ANTITRUST TRIAL
NASHVILLE, TN , A federal jury here today found that Philip Morris USA acted lawfully when it discontinued a trade program for vending machine operators in 1998. A group of vending machine operators filed the suit against Philip Morris USA after the company ended a merchandising program for vending machine operators, while keeping a promotional and merchandising program for retailers. The plaintiffs claimed this was unfair and led to declining sales. The country's largest cigarette manufacturer, Philip Morris USA is an operating company of Altria Group Inc. "Philip Morris USA designs and implements its trade programs to meet consumers' needs in a highly competitive marketplace," said Denise Keane, Philip Morris USA executive vice-president and general counsel. "The jury decided this case on the evidence, which clearly demonstrated that vending machines do not compete with convenience stores, grocery stores, and other retail outlets, and therefore Philip Morris USA's business decision not to have a trade program for vending machines was lawful."
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