The Competition Council (CC) in Latvia recently conducted an in-depth investigation into the public performance tariffs applicable to playing music in hotel rooms. The investigation focused on the criteria set by the Latvian Performers and Producers Association (LaIPA) for calculating these tariffs.

After careful evaluation, the CC found that some of the criteria used by LaIPA in their calculation procedure were unreasonable. These criteria included factors such as the GDP of the hotel, hotel category (e.g. star ratings), and traveller expenditures, which were not directly related to the cost of creating or playing music in hotel rooms.

In response to the CC’s findings, LaIPA collaborated with the Latvian Hotels and Restaurants Association to develop a new, more reasonable remuneration procedure. They revoked the unjustified criteria and agreed to implement new, more justifiable criteria for calculating the remuneration fee rates. Respectively, the new criteria for determining the fee will be based on the number of rooms available and the location of the accommodation (whether or not located in the 10 largest cities of Latvia), considering that accommodation in the 10 largest cities has on average 10% higher occupancy than in the rest of Latvia (according to Central Statistical Bureau statistics).

The move comes after a hotel in Latvia raised concerns about the methodology used by LaIPA. The CC’s actions aimed to ensure a fair and equitable system for music tariffs in the hospitality industry. In contrast, the Estonian Association of the Phonogram Producers (EFÜ) has established transparent license fee tariffs for playing music in accommodation establishments in Estonia. The fees are determined by the size of the establishment, depending on the number of rooms available. This fixed fee is applied consistently throughout Estonia, regardless of the establishment’s location or operation type. Additionally, separate charges apply for playing music in catering facilities and service points within the establishment. The fee amount remains constant, regardless of the number of visitors or whether the music is actually heard by the public.