Dutch watchdog: Apple didn’t break antitrust law; iPod and iTunes not tied

Apple iTunes“Apple Inc. did not breach the law in the way its iTunes store sold downloadable songs for the iPod music player, the Dutch antitrust regulator said,” Marcel van de Hoef reports for Bloomberg. “‘Consumers who buy music through the Internet store of Apple can and may also play this music on devices other than the iPod,’ the antitrust regulator NMa said today in an e-mailed statement. ‘It appears that there’s no conditional sale.'”

“Dutch consumer organization Consumentenbond in January accused Cupertino, California-based Apple of abusing its ‘considerable market power.’ The iTunes online store sells music with copyright protection software, which makes it harder to play songs on devices other than Apple’s iPod,” van de Hoef reports. “The consumer organization won’t appeal NMa’s decision, Ewald van Kouwen, a spokesman for Consumentenbond, said.”

Full article here.

What we really need now is a study, fact-finding mission, and lawsuit — all rolled into one, and throw in a smear campaign, too — designed to figure out why stupid pain-in-the-asses waste so much damn time for themselves and others over blatantly obvious nonsense.


  1. No appeal? So Apple can continue their years of monopolistic behavior while little guys like the Zune have to fend for themselves against Cupertino’s underhanded business practices?

    What is especially disappointing is seeing all of the innovation and hard work that goes into products like the Zune only to have them crushed by substandard, mediocre offerings like the iPod because Apple refuses to play fair. They’ve been getting away with it for years. Hey Apple, would it kill you to invest in some R & D and maybe, just maybe put some effort, creativity and usability into your products?

    Hold your head up high, Microsoft. Can’t wait to see the evolution of the marvelous Zune.

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  2. Oh please! A lawsuit?

    I can’t believe that this site is calling for that.

    You complain when Apple sued, so now you are calling for Apple to sue?

    Well, on second thought, the comments made by the site are often so absurd, that I shouldn’t be surprised.

  3. The iTunes Terms of Service has always had this clause-

    “You shall be entitled to export, burn (if applicable) or copy Products solely for personal, noncommercial use.”

    – and there is no way in hell this is not a clear fair-use statement allowing burning to CD and subsequent transfer to any and all mp3 players. The case was crap from the get.

  4. The argument has been, and I’m not agreeing, or disagreeing with it, that you shouldn’t have to go through the trouble to burn a disk first. That just like MP3’s, you should just be able to move the song wherever you like, without having to go through more steps.

  5. Yes, unlike the other online Music Retailers Apple places no restriction on what device you place your music/video on. The Zune store the music is licensed to Zune devices only, and the other stores that use the other MS DRM is restricted by license to devices that use the MS Plays for Sure DRM. You want fun restrictions on Download license read the vCast Content license agreement.Cell phone music stores Content Use Licenses are so restrictive they are funny.

  6. Dan, I’m not saying no. But, he’s talking about a lawsuit by Apple. He wants to sue the consumer organization, which is, after all, just trying to make things better for the consumer. Whether they are right or wrong, is something else. But suing them for trying to do what they think is right? No.

    The reason why MS wasn’t brought up on this is because in music players and downloads, Apple is the monopoly.

    MS has been having problems in the EU system for years from its OS monopoly, when Apple gets away with the same activity, because it’s not a monopoly in that area.

    That’s the way it works.

  7. From the aforementioned article: ” Barbara van der Rest, spokeswoman for The Hague-based NMa said today. “ITunes have to be copied to the computer’s hard drive before they can be loaded onto another device,”

    If you haven’t started laughing yet, please re-read the sentence very c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y.

    Uh it says iTunes has to be copied on your computer hard drive first, THEN only can you copy the songs onto another machine…. Since when do you not run iTunes from your own hard drive?

    MDN MW: “clueless”

  8. “That’s the way it works.”

    Please enlighten us on things work will you?

    What redress does any company or individual have unless they petition the court to hear their case? Sometimes suing someone only serves to provide a forum in which all the facts can be heard and perhaps establish legal precedent. In any case, what both parties want is a judgement.

    Microsoft is having problems with the EU, not because of its OS monopoly, but because of its illegal activity to crush its competitors.

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