DOJ Looks Into Digital Music Pricing
May 26, 2010 at 4:06 AM (PT)
The JUSTICE DEPT. has launched a preliminary inquiry to investigate the pricing and promotion of digital music by APPLE INC. and AMAZON.COM Inc., reports THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, citing "sources familiar with the discussions."
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT officials have contacted EMI MUSIC, SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP and WARNER MUSIC GROUP, claims the report, which says "Investigators had asked about the labels' participation in AMAZON's Daily Deal, which gives discounts on albums and songs a day before the music is released widely in stores and other music sites. Specifically, JUSTICE DEPT. representatives wanted details on whether APPLE leaned on the labels to discourage them from participating in AMAZON's program, sources said."
APPLE's iTUNES passed WAL-MART in 2008 to become the largest music retailer in the world. The iTUNES store has 19% of music sales, WAL-MART (which includes the brick-and-mortar stores as well as its online properties) is second with 15% and BEST BUY is third with 13%. AMAZON is a distant fourth at 6%.