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Apple Apparently Under Government Scrutiny Over Music Deals

Illustration for article titled Apple Apparently Under Government Scrutiny Over Music Deals

Apple’s long-rumored relaunch of the Beats music-streaming service is slated for June, and in preparation, the company is softening the beaches by playing hardball with record labels. And, not for the first time, federal trade commissioners aren’t particularly happy.

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According to sources that have spoken to Bloomberg and The Verge, Apple is pushing hard to ink exclusive deals for the new streaming service — and take money and music away from rivals like Spotify and YouTube.

The Verge reported that “Apple offered to pay YouTube’s music licensing fee to Universal Music Group if the label stopped allowing its songs on YouTube”. Bloomberg writes that “Apple has approached more than a dozen artists including Florence and the Machine for limited exclusive rights to music and partnerships”.

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Both Apple and record-label spokespeople have denied comment; but this wouldn’t be the first time that Apple has been embroiled in an anti-trust case. Famously, Apple worked with ebook publishers to force Amazon to change its pricing strategy, an action that’s ended with an anti-trust monitor installed on Apple’s campus.

Of course, the new charges are far from conclusive at this stage — only time, the FTC, and the ability to stream TaySway on YouTube will tell. [The Verge, Bloomberg]


Contact the author at chris@gizmodo.com.

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DISCUSSION

Not mentioned here, but spelled out in the linked articles is that Apple is basically trying to kill all free music services.

The Verge has learned that Apple has been pushing major music labels to force streaming services like Spotify to abandon their free tiers, which will dramatically reduce the competition for Apple’s upcoming offering.

You know that Google motto, “Don’t be evil”? This is the sort of shit they’re talking about.

Apple is a terrible, terrible, evil company. They dictate what you can and cannot do with the devices you purchase. With this and the ebooks, they act in blatantly anticompetitive and illegal manners. They illegally threaten other companies to engage in anti-poaching agreements. They’re aggressive patent trolls. The list goes on and on. How anyone can support this company in good conscience is beyond me.