U.S. feds weigh investigation of Apple’s forthcoming ‘iTunes Music’ streaming service

“Apple’s problems with its soon-to-launch music-streaming service may expand to the US,” Claire Atkinson reports for The New York Post.

“Regulators in Washington have been holding talks with key music-industry executives in order to figure out whether to launch a wider antitrust review of the tech titan’s business practices, sources said,” Atkinson reports. “Both the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice have been involved in those conversations, sources noted.”

“Meanwhile, New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has sent a subpoena to music labels looking for details of their agreements with Apple, according to a published report,” Atkinson reports. “The main issue is a concern that Apple will use its global dominance to push the music business not to license its songs to freemium services — and to obtain exclusive deals. To be sure, Apple has yet to sign a single deal with a label.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: One might wonder if this perpetual witch-hunt would evaporate if Apple reversed course, stopped protecting the privacy of their customers by ending government-impenetrable encryption, and resumed handing over the decryption keys whenever authorities demanded.

Related articles:
EU regulators already probing Apple’s music streaming plans in Europe – April 2, 2015
Apple’s ‘iTunes Music’ streaming service to cost $9.99/month, no free tier; iTunes Radio to get makeover – March 26, 2015
With iTunes Music, Apple wants to help music labels roll back the tide of free digital music – March 6, 2015

21 Comments

    1. When Apple entered the ebook market, the DOJ went after the little guy, ignoring the predatory pricing of Amazon which squeezed all other competitors out of the market. Since no rationale for that choice was ever given, it’s not unreasonable for folks to come up with their own conclusions.

    2. Maybe smaller, but not far. I do not have latest statistics, but iTunes Radio got over forty million subscribers in just few months after release.

      However, this is not even remotely a monopoly position, so there is nothing to abuse yet.

      However, main Washington bribers Google and Amazon have spent tens of millions of dollars to buy Department of Justice officials and members of all kinds of committees and commissions — so while Google, an actual monopoly, was excluded from much-warranted anti-trust investigation of its advertisement practices, Apple can be investigated and prosecuted even if there is no substance in this.

  1. Nice to see the US government following the policies of scientology. If you don’t like the way someone is behaving, find out what they value and attack it. Mobsters..

    1. Your use of the term “mobsters” is closer to the mark than most of us would like to admit. Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s not a shakedown. This Government and this attorney general have quite a record of going after businesses and extracting billions from them. This is the most business unfriendly US Government I have seen in my lifetime. Can’t wait for this administration to go!

      1. Not just businesses. The Obama Justice Department’s record is beyond despicable. Let us especially not forget how they essentially hounded and bullied young Aaron Swartz into committing suicide to be rid of them. Aaron’s big crime? Downloading scientific articles from an MIT campus network. His punishment at most should have been a stern talking to.

        Meanwhile nothing on IRSgate, Fast and Furious, and so on.

  2. Not to mention, um, Apple is THE shining example of the greatness of the USA. Yet our government insists on attacking Apple, and coming to the aid of…Samsung? Um, yeah, nice strategy guys.

  3. No. I don’t think it is because of the NSA.
    Government officials and political parties are like Patent Trolls.

    They try to squeeze on stupid things (ebook lawsuit) because they see a big fat rich company who follows tax rules and has an ethical side.

    Governments and regulators are looking for PAYOLA to prop up their budget burdens & their candidacies.

    Apple doesn’t play the Lobbiest game like Google & Eric T. Mole or M$. They probably have to start, unfortunately.

  4. Huh. A black Muslim president’s administration is picking on a white homosexual CEO’s company. Obama is obviously anti-gay. Where’s the protests…?
    And Tim Cook thought that giving Pharrell an early release AppleWatch would keep Obama off his back for a while. My guess is it’s gonna take four AppleWatch Editions FedEx’d overnight to the White House. One for Barry, Moochelle, and kids. 😁

  5. Weird, didn’t Judge Cote put an antitrust monitor, whom Apple has paid over $2M, in Apple’s midst to watch for exactly this behavior and correct it on the spot? Either he hasn’t earned his millions or Apple isn’t doing anything wrong.

    1. Agreed, though I don’t limit vindictiveness to this particular administration. If this type of action was performed by an individual, we’d call it “extortion”, but since the government is doing it, they call it “justice.”

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