FTC May Not Dance To Apple Music

According to a Reuters report, Apple Music streaming service may face antitrust investigation in the U.S. on its treatment of rival streaming music apps.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia - Apple Computer retail store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia – Apple Computer retail store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Apple, the multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California has recently launched its own music streaming service — Apple Music.

In addition, the company offers music apps download from its App Store platform to competitors such as Spotify, Rhapsody, Jango as well as others.

Apple takes a 30 percent off the top on all in-app purchases for digital goods, such as music streaming subscriptions and games, sold on its platform.

Now, the gripe among some companies is that they have been forced into an awkward position of having to choose between charging extra on top of their $9.99 per monthly service (making the total $12.99) or accepting the loss to match Apple Music’s pricing.

Another area of contention among companies is that of the number of restrictions placed on them by Apple.

Some of these include forbidding companies from advertising in the app that they are on other platform, a ban on marketing in the app that consumers can also buy directly from the company’s website, and a ban on linking to a company’s website from within the app.

These restrictions are not limited to music streaming apps, but all apps on the company’s store platform.

Notwithstanding, there are mixed opinions on Apple’s behavior by antitrust lawyers on whether Apple’s policies violated antitrust law. Some view Apple as being free to charge whatever fee it likes for transactions within its App Store, while others argue that companies do not have to sell their goods there.

Davy Desmond, Readers Bureau, Fellow

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