Wednesday07 December 2022

Apple faces FTC investigation into Beats Streaming Service.

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Remember that pesky anti-trust suit that Apple faced over fixing eBook prices with publishers? Well if not, let me remind you. When Apple brought their eBook store to iOS they knew they were facing an uphill battle against Amazon. To counter this they worked out a deal with several publishers to fix prices at a certain level and also to guarantee that they got the best prices along with a few exclusive books. They were found guilty of this and are supposed to be making amends for it along with having a watchdog looking over their shoulders.

At the time many Apple fans decried the verdict and claimed everything from Apple never did that to that is just business. For those that think Apple is a paragon of virtue and they simply achieve success through better products and business sense we have a new scandal for you. This time it relates to their upcoming streaming music service and… you guessed it deals with music labels to set prices.

This time Apple would like the music industry to not renew the free streaming licenses that services like Spotify and others have. This would allow them to set their own price and drive the market. It is very similar to what they did with eBooks except there was no free market at the time. It is also more than a little illegal to try this type of thing (not to mention very unethical). Still Apple would need this to happen if they want to try and build their traditional most favored nation style agreements.

Right now the FTC is looking into the issue and we are sure that the complaints from services that do offer a free streaming option (with ads) will be chiming in. It is also possible that the Music industry might not do this anyway. From what we are hearing they see the option to stream for free (with ad revenue) as a piracy deterrent. If this goes away it is likely that music piracy will spike again (from their point of view). It will be interesting to see what the outcome of this is as Apple was not supposed to try this type of stunt again as part of their consequences for trying to control the eBook market.

Last modified on Wednesday, 06 May 2015 11:45

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