Norwegian Court Approves Data-Fraud Investigation of Tidal

Elsa Keslassy

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The ongoing data-fraud investigation of Tidal, the streaming platform primarily owned by Jay-Z, has been approved by the Norwegian Supreme Court Appeals Committee, according to Norwegian financial trade Dagens Næringsliv (DN).

Tidal’s troubles in Norway begun in 2018 when DN cited sources claiming that the platform had faked the numbers for several of its biggest titles. That scandal led Norway’s National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime  to launch a probe on Tidal in June 2019.

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In its initial investigation, the Scandinavian newspaper said that it obtained access to the company’s hard drive and discovered that listening stats for Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” and Kanye West’s “The Life Of Pablo” — which Tidal had exclusive streaming rights to for a number of years or months, respectively — had been inflated. Because the platform calculates royalties for all songs based on the play-counts, it is a crucial issue that could also affect royalties paid to other artists.

Tidal, which was founded in Oslo, fought back last August by threatening legal action against the government of Norway. The company’s legal reps at law firm Fend have declined to comment on news that the Norwegian Supreme Court has approved a proper fraud investigation, according to Music Business Worldwide.

Reports suggest that the probe could allow prosecutors to seize documents that may shed further light on the platform’s business model and operations.

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