Apple, who recently announced plans to launch a new paid-music streaming service – creatively named Apple Music – is under legal fire along with three major record labels, by New York and Connecticut attorneys general, Schneiderman and Jepsen. The companies in question have potentially violated antitrust laws regarding their music service. Schneiderman and Jepsen suspect that Apple either pressured these labels to abandon “freemium” services in favor of paid streaming, or that the labels were conspiring alongside Apple to do so; both in clear violation of the antitrust law.
This isn’t the first time the giant tech company has been suspected for legal violations of this kind, as a federal judge concluded in 2013 that Apple violated antitrust law by colluding with book publishers to raise e-book prices above Amazon’s standard $9.99 pricing for digital books. Schneiderman and Jepsen were both involved in 2013′s case, and are now preemptively investigating the terms of Apple’s latest music service before Apple Music goes on the market to consumers at the end of June.
One of the music labels in question, Universal Music, has since responded to the antitrust investigation, saying that it “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.”
Apple, on the other hand, has declined to comment. Responses (or lack there of) aside, legal suspicion points to possible negotiations between the computer tech giant and major music companies, therefore, the attorneys general ensure that they “will continue to monitor that market to ensure that consumers and competition are protected.”
Source: NY Times