Norwegian courts approve investigation into Tidal for data fraud

It's the latest development in a long-running legal battle

Streaming service Tidal is to be investigated for data fraud, following a ruling by courts in Norway.

The Norwegian Supreme Court Appeals Committee has approved an investigation, following a long series of legal battles between Tidal and the country’s government, according to business newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (via Variety).

Tidal’s legal troubles in Norway began in 2018, when DN ran an investigation claiming the platform had faked its streaming figures for a number of releases.

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DN said that Tidal had massaged the figures of those and other albums, lying by “hundreds of millions” about the amount of streams Kanye West‘s ‘The Life Of Pablo’ and Beyoncé‘s ‘Lemonade’ earned, both of which initially appeared as Tidal exclusives.

The paper’s investigation led Norway’s National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime to launch a probe in June 2019.

Tidal was launched by Norwegian company Aspiro in 2014, before being acquired by Jay-Z‘s Project Panther Bidco Ltd in 2015 with the rapper sharing ownership with a number of other high-profile musicians including Beyoncé, West, Daft Punk, Jack White and Rihanna.

These aren’t the only legal issues the streaming service has faced. In April 2016 a class action lawsuit was filed arguing that Tidal had deceived fans by announcing that ‘The Life Of Pablo’ would be a Tidal exclusive, only for the album to be made available on other major streaming services by April of that year. It was subsequently dismissed.

‘The Life Of Pablo’ also resulted in a feud between West and Jay-Z, which saw West claim he was owed $3.5 million after exclusively releasing his album via the platform.

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