Apple to face inquiry over iTunes
Over in Americaland, the Justice Department is making angry faces and set to examining Apple’s tactics in the digital music market for digital music.
There's this antitrust inquiry that's just kicked off and allegations are being made that Apple have not been playing nicely and have been using their dominant position in the market to persuade/bully record labels into refusing to give Amazon exclusive access to music.
Apparently, Amazon asked record labels to give them the exclusive right to sell certain forthcoming songs for one day before they went on sale more widely. In exchange, Amazon promised to include those songs in a promotion called the “MP3 Daily Deal” on their site.
However, it is alleged that representatives of Apple’s iTunes asked labels not to participate in Amazon’s promotion. If they ignore this request/order they would be punished and would see any marketing support for their songs withdrawn on iTunes.
Seeing as iTunes sells around 70% of all the online music in the world, you can see why this threat isn't something to be taken lightly by a record label.
The inquiry is one of many being investigated by the feds. Apple are currently being looked at for their rules on developers who create apps for the iPhone, with that particular complaint being called into action by the folks at Adobe Systems (who make Flash format).
2010 has not been a good PR year for Apple and, with these investigations, looks to be getting worse.