Apple Music faces scrutiny in New York & Connecticut antitrust probe

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By Larry Banks

The attorneys general of New York and Connecticut will investigate Apple‘s negotiations with music labels to see if there are signs of any antitrust violations regarding Apple Music.

The attorneys general aim to find out whether music labels colluded or were pressured to favour Apple’s paid music subscription service, which was announced on Monday at WWDC 2015.

The attorneys general want to know whether music labels colluded or were pressured into favoring Apple’s paid music subscription service, which was released on Monday.

Apple Music under investigation

The Cupertino-based company announced its Apple Music service this week, a $9.99 per month streaming music service that aims to change the way that consumers listen to music, as the industry wrestles with a decline in music downloads and tries to find ways to get people to pay for music.

In a recent letter to the New York attorney general, Universal Music said that it had no agreements with Apple or companies like Sony Music and Warner Music that would restrict the availability of free or ad-supported services, or indeed prevent it from licensing its music to any streaming service it wishes.

Apple Music Keynote Slide
Apple Music costs $9.99 a month or $14.99 for a family of 6.

Universal says it offered exclusive content to some services where the exclusivity is not part of an agreement to inhibit competition.

“This letter is part of an investigation of the music streaming business, an industry in which competition has recently led to new and different ways for consumers to listen to music”, said Matt Mittenthal, a spokesman for New York’s attorney-general, Eric Schneiderman.

“To preserve these benefits, it’s important to ensure that the market continues to develop free from collusion and other anticompetitive practices”.

SOURCE: Reuters.

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