Claims that Apple is bullying record labels are set to be investigated by the U.S. Justice Department following a series of complaints.
Last night, the U.S. Justice Department said that they are currently investigating Apple’s business practices in the digital music market, in particular its alleged pressuring of record labels to decline to participate in an Amazon.com music promotion.
The New York Times reported, citing people briefed on the conversations. Billboard reported in March that Apple was punishing labels whose artists participated in Amazon’s MP3 Daily Deal promotion – which offered discounts and exclusive early access to songs or albums – by withdrawing marketing support for those songs on its iTunes Store.
CNET cited sources who said the Justice Department isn’t focused solely on the issue with Amazon, but rather Apple’s use of its dominant market position in the sector.
The Times notes that the Justice Department’s inquiry into Apple’s music dealings is preliminary, but adds to existing FTC probe into its rules for iPhone developers.