“Sen. Al Franken wants federal regulators to investigate whether Apple’s new music-streaming service runs afoul of antitrust law, marking the latest escalation in an ongoing, multipronged battle for dominance in the crowded online market,” Dustin Volz reports for National Journal.

“In a letter addressed Wednesday to the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission, the Minnesota Democrat warned that the Apple Music platform may be harming consumers by limiting competition and driving up the price of access to streaming music,” Volz reports. “Apple has been dogged by accusations that it is unfairly using its enormous size and influence — and access to the payment information of millions of customers — to cut better deals with record labels on Apple Music, which launched last month. Its critics also have said Apple is driving up prices of its competitors’ services, such as Spotify and Pandora, by taking a 30 percent cut of any purchases made via its popular app store.”

Volz reports, “Apple Music is exempt from that surcharge, as it is an Apple platform.”

MacDailyNews Take: Yes. It’s Apple’s App Store. Duh.

Again, if Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, Tidal, Pandora, etc. don’t like Apple’s App Store terms, they are free to market their wares to non-iOS users. Surely their “freemium” offering will be in very high demand among the BOGOF cheapskate set who have proven more than willing to surrender their privacy and personal date in exchange for what they erroneously think is “free.”

As myopic “analysts” like to repeatedly tell each other on CNBC, Apple’s iOS market share is dwarfed by Android, that amazing and wondrous OS that delivers not only a poor facsimile of iOS and 99% of all mobile malware, but also exceedingly profitless results for knockoff peddlers the world over. Therefore, Apple clearly does not have a monopoly in smartphones (only in brilliantphones), so there’s simply no monopoly to abuse, Al.

Spotify and the rest of the also-rans: Go peddle your outmoded, inferior crap to the billion+ fragmandroid settlers if you don’t like Apple’s App Store terms. Knock yourselves out.

Volz reports, “The scrutiny has prompted Spotify and others to lobby on Capitol Hill for an investigation, and several media reports have cited unnamed officials claiming that the Federal Trade Commission already has launched a probe.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Is Al up for re-election already?

Franken’s letter is here.

U.S. Senate Democrat Al Franken demands answers from Apple CEO Tim Cook over iPhone 5s’ Touch ID – September 20, 2013

U.S. Senator Al Franken demands answers from Apple’s Steve Jobs over iPhone tracking – April 21, 2011

Consumer Watchdog Asks U.S. feds to investigate Apple Music over alleged ‘antitrust violations’ – July 22, 2015
Apple Music faces antitrust scrutiny in New York, Connecticut – June 10, 2015
a href=”http://macdailynews.com/2015/05/07/rival-music-services-claim-apples-app-store-pricing-is-anticompetitive/”>Rival music services claim Apple’s App Store pricing is anticompetitive – May 7, 2015
EU regulators already probing Apple’s music streaming plans in Europe – April 2, 2015