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 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….

  2. 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.

  3. “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.

  4. “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,”

    And now, years later, IE is still on top, Microsoft is relatively unaffected by anti-trust lawsuits, still making a pile of money, and not much else has changed. So the lesson for the shrewd businessman is: Why not?!

  5. What an idiot this guy is. His company is ok but he does not have a clue about this. This is so NOT like the Internet Explorer issue. That was a browser dongled to NOT let other people play. iTunes plays music from emusic just fine so he should concentrate on selling more and paying more to the musicians.

  6. I think we need to keep a moment’s silence here. This is a monumental achievement, especially for those who have suffered the blows of malcontent for the past 20 years.

    Apple has been threatened with anti-trust and monopolistic practices! Ahhhh, the air somehow smells sweeter.

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