“While Apple was preparing a splashy introduction for a new service that would stream music over the Internet for a fee, the attorneys general of New York and Connecticut were quietly investigating the Silicon Valley giant’s negotiations with music companies in search of potential antitrust violations,” Brian X. Chen and Ben Sisario reports for The New York Times. “The attorneys general wanted to know whether Apple pressured the music labels — or whether the labels conspired with Apple and one another — to withdraw support for popular ‘freemium’ services offered by companies like Spotify in favor of Apple’s paid music subscriptions.”
“Universal Music Group on Tuesday confirmed it was cooperating with the industrywide investigation, a continuing effort led by the attorney general of New York, Eric T. Schneiderman, and the attorney general of Connecticut, George Jepsen,” Chen and Sisario reports. “The first written response to the antitrust inquiry came from Universal Music Group a day earlier when the company’s legal firm, Hunton & Williams, sent a letter to the attorneys general. The letter said Universal Music Group had no agreements with Apple or music entities like Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group that would impede the availability of free or ad-supported services.”
“This is the second time both Mr. Schneiderman and Mr. Jepsen have pursued Apple on antitrust grounds,” Chen and Sisario reports. “In 2013, a federal judge said Apple violated antitrust law by colluding with book publishers to raise e-book prices above Amazon’s standard $9.99 pricing for digital books, after the publishers settled.”
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MacDailyNews Take: Witch-hunt: The sequel.