Apple In Hot Water Over Music Antitrust Allegations

LegalRegulation
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Investigation opens into whether Apple pressured record labels into giving new music service an unfair advantage against rivals like Spotify

Apple may already be having legal problems with its freshly-announced music streaming service as attorneys in New York and Connecticut have started an investigation into the firm’s negotiation tactics with record companies.

Apple Music was announced at this year’s WWDC event in San Francisco, and looks to compete with the likes of Spotify with tailored song streaming, as well as a 24 hour radio station curated by radio DJs.

Pressured record labels

But questions have been posed by attorneys who suspect that Apple may have pressured record labels into easing off their efforts with competitor streaming services like Spotify to instead favour Apple Music.

Universal Music Group is at the centre of the investigation, and said on Tuesday that it will cooperate with the enquiries, led by effort led by the attorney general of New York, Eric T. Schneiderman, and George Jepsen, the attorney general of Connecticut.

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Apple Music rival Spotify

A letter sent from Universal Music Group to the attorneys general this week claimed that the company had not set up deals with Apple that would impede its relationships with freemium music streaming services.

The letter said that the company “shares the attorneys general’s commitment to a robust and competitive market for music streaming services in the mutual best interest of consumers, artists, services and content companies alike — and we have a long track record to that effect.”

The New York Times also reported that the European Commission is also investigating Apple in regards to its dealings with record labels. Apple has been contacted for comment on the matter.

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