NY And CT Attorney Generals Open Investigation Into Potential Antitrust Violations By Apple
June 10, 2015 at 3:49 AM (PT)
The shine on APPLE's latest offering has dulled, as both NEW YORK and CONNECTICUT's Attorney Generals are investigating APPLE's negotiations with music companies, searching for signs of potential antitrust violations.
It was just MONDAY (NET NEWS 6/8) that the company unveiled APPLE MUSIC, a new music streaming service at its 2015 WORLD WIDE DEVELOPERS’ CONFERENCE, held at the MOSCONE CENTER in SAN FRANCISCO. An auspicious part of the music service is the BEATS ONE worldwide radio station, which will be run by ZANE LOWE and "broadcast" live 24/7 from NYC, L.A. and LONDON, programmed by a "team of experts." The global radio station is also Siri-activated, which can do requests such as "Play the top-10 songs in Alternative" to "Play the top-10 songs of 1982."
The new legal wrinkle comes as the AGs investigate whether music labels colluded or were pressured into favoring APPLE's paid music subscription service.
REUTERS reports, "In a letter to the NEW YORK Attorney General, UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP said it had no agreements with APPLE or music companies like SONY MUSIC and WARNER MUSIC that would impede the availability of free or ad-supported services, or prevent it from licensing its recorded music to any music streaming service. UNIVERSAL MUSIC also said it offers limited exclusive content to some music streaming services where such exclusivity is not part of an agreement to restrain competition."
"This letter is part of an investigation of the music streaming business, an industry in which competition has recently led to new and different ways for consumers to listen to music," said NY AG spokesman MATT MITTENTHAL ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN. "To preserve these benefits, it's important to ensure that the market continues to develop free from collusion and other anticompetitive practices."
An APPLE spokesman declined to comment to REUTERS on the investigation. REUTERS could not reach CONNECTICUT Attorney General GEORGE JEPSEN for comment.