Report: New Apple Streaming Service Facing Anti-Trust Review
April 3, 2015 at 4:38 AM (PT)
Is APPLE’s soon-to-launch music-streaming service set to run into a buzz saw in WASHINGTON, D.C.? Yes, reports THE NEW YORK POST, writing, "regulators in WASHINGTON have been holding talks with key music-industry executives in order to figure out whether to launch a wider antitrust review of the tech titan’s business practices, sources said. Both the FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION and the DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE have been involved in those conversations, sources noted."
Just a week ago (NET NEWS 3/26), ALL ACCESS tipped you to a NEW YORK TIMES report that, APPLE is, "pressing ahead with a sweeping overhaul of its digital music services that would allow the company to compete directly with streaming upstarts like SPOTIFY." The report explains, "Almost a year after agreeing to pay $3 billion for BEATS, the maker of hip headphones and a streaming music service, APPLE is working with BEATS engineers and executives to introduce its own subscription streaming service. The company is also planning an enhanced iTUNES RADIO that may be tailored to listeners in regional markets, and, if APPLE gets what it wants, more splashy new albums that will be on iTUNES before they are available anywhere else, according to people briefed on the company’s plans."
THE POST writes that APPLE is running into issues in both the U.S. and has been served with, "a similar move in the EUROPEAN UNION, where the Competition Commission is querying music executives over actions by APPLE, other music streamers and record labels that are aimed at stemming freemium business models."
Multiple reports note that NEW YORK State Attorney General ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN has sent a subpoena to music labels looking for details of their agreements with APPLE.
"A music-industry source floated the idea that APPLE’s rivals are using regulators to fight their commercial battles and that it will make long-term relationships difficult to sustain," added THE POST.