Feds Eyeing Apple iTunes’ Bullying of Amazon Customers

May 26, 2010

(ChattahBox)— The U.S. Justice Department is taking notice of Apple’s business practices for possible antitrust violations. The New York Times is reporting that federal investigators appear to be honing in on Apple iTunes’ cutthroat practices towards Amazon.

Investigators from the Justice Department have been quietly interviewing Apple’s competitors, including music companies and online retailers, with particular emphasis on Amazon:

“But people briefed on the inquiries also said investigators had asked in particular about recent allegations that Apple used its dominant market position to persuade music labels to refuse to give the online retailer Amazon.com exclusive access to music about to be released.” […]

The investigation seems to be following up on an expose of Apple’s business practices recently published in Billboard Magazine. “The magazine reported that representatives of Apple’s iTunes music service were asking the labels not to participate in Amazon’s promotion, adding that Apple punished those that did by withdrawing marketing support for those songs on iTunes.”

This isn’t the only attention Apple is drawing from the Feds, the federal Trade Commission is also investigating possible antitrust violations in the the company’s marketing of its app programer tools.

Apple has evolved into a major player in the Online music industry dominating 69 percent of the market, while Amazon only commands a paltry 8 percent share.

See The NY Times for more.


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