September 21, 2015 / 6:19 PM / 2 years ago

Pandora wins round at U.S. Copyright Office

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Pandora Media Inc said on Monday it was pleased that the U.S. Copyright Office agreed that the company’s pact with Merlin Network, a global rights agency for independent musicians, was admissible as a benchmark in royalty proceedings.

A screen displays the name of music streaming company Pandora on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the start of trading in New York July 1, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Trading of Pandora was halted twice in the morning, and spiked up 14.7 percent to $22.60. In early afternoon, Pandora traded up 5.6 percent at $20.82.

A three-judge panel called the Copyright Royalty Board has been working on setting royalties for Internet radio, companies like Pandora and Jango, and is due to come to a decision in mid-December. Internet radio has urged a lower rate as it struggles to be profitable.

In August 2014, Pandora, an Internet radio company, reached an agreement with Merlin over royalties to be paid in the United States.

The Copyright Office said on Monday that the board may consider the rates that Pandora and Merlin hammered out in reaching its decision on what royalty should be paid for songs streamed on the Internet.

“We look forward to the certainty that December’s decision will bring, and are prepared to thrive in a number of potential outcomes,” said Dave Grimaldi, Pandora’s director of public affairs, in a statement.

Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Diane Craft

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