“European regulators are scrutinising Apple’s dealings with record labels, amid an intensifying battle over the future of free, ad-supported music streaming services such as Spotify,” Matthew Garrahan and Tim Bradshaw report for The Financial Times.

“Several labels and digital music companies have been contacted by the European Commission, according to people familiar with the matter,” Garrahan and Bradshaw report. “The information gathering is the first step in a probe and does not necessarily mean Brussels will launch a formal antitrust investigation.”

“If the commission concludes there is wrongdoing it is empowered to require changes to business practices and can impose hefty fines,” Garrahan and Bradshaw report. “The case in some ways echoes Apple’s US antitrust case over ebook pricing, over which the iPhone and iPad maker was ordered to pay $450m in damages. Apple is still appealing that case.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Likening this action to a total sham couldn’t be more appropriate.

Why are the government regulators interested? Two words: “Hefty fines.”

Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other. — Ronald Reagan