eMusic CEO: Apple would be breaking antitrust laws with reported ‘all-you-can-eat’ iTunes plan

“Apple’s reported plan to bundle unlimited iTunes music store access with iPods could bring antitrust allegations similar to those faced by Microsoft for its bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows, according to David Pakman, CEO of iTunes competitor eMusic,” Eliot Van Buskirk blogs for Wired.

“‘They’re basically saying, ‘Let’s give a piece of every iPod sale to the record labels in exchange for bundling in all the music you can eat with every iPod” said Pakman,” Van Buskirk reports. “‘That’s classic Sherman Antitrust Act behavior. It’s called tying, and it’s where a company with a monopoly position in one market uses that monopoly position unfairly to compete in another.'”

“Pakman says Apple’s possible bundling of iTunes with the iPod represents the same type of behavior that brought the Justice Department down on Microsoft. The company’s bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows ‘killed the browser market, it killed Netscape. And (Microsoft) ran into all sorts of trouble in the U.S. and in Europe,’ Pakman said,” Van Buskirk reports.

“EMusic, which has 15 percent of the digital music market, would play the Netscape role in this scenario — as would Amazon.com, RealNetworks, Napster, Best Buy, Target, Circuit City, Wal-Mart and other music retailers, which could react by bringing an antitrust case against Apple,” Van Buskirk reports.

More in the full article here.

We can hear the sweat dripping off his brow.

40 Comments

  1. I think Mr. Pakman needs to change his Depends.

    Why would this plan trigger an anti-trust investigation?

    Unlike Microsoft’s historically catalogued tactics, Apple with iTunes and the iPod have NOT gone out of their way, NOT made it their corporate policy to harm other companies or their products. Apple simply designs, produces, advertises and sells an extremely popular product.

    NO ONE is forced to buy iPods.
    If you buy an iPod you are not FORCED to use the iTunes Store. I don’t, except for downloading a few free podcasts.

    So, why would it be monopolistic for Apple to offer MORE choice to their customers?

  2. I don’t know if this guy has a point or not, but I do know that eMusic sucks. I got one of those 25 free download cards, signed up, and couldn’t find ANY songs I liked. So I cancelled it out. Then I noticed they had charged me 9.99 on each of my next two credit card statements for something I had apparently clicked on while at their website. So I called to tell them to credit it back to my card. Only when I called the customer service number I found on their website, I got an answering machine that was very obviously just somebody’s residence. Multiple calls gave me the same guy’s answering machine. I finally had to call my credit card company and let them straighten it out. No wonder iTunes is so dominant….

  3. That would only be true if apple used a DRM encrusted file format for said music. If Apple was using an open AAC format like they do have now then anyone who could play AAC’s wold be able to get in on that deal.

  4. “I got an answering machine that was very obviously just somebody’s residence. Multiple calls gave me the same guy’s answering machine.”

    Perhaps David Pakman was upstairs eating dinner with his mom? His pr0n torrents were going to take awhile to download.

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