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Apple Facing New Antitrust Investigation 241

Posted by timothy
from the depends-who-you-trust-in-the-first-place dept.
mantis2009 writes "After recent complaints of anti-competitive behavior, the US Department of Justice has opened an inquiry into Apple's business practices for selling music. Investigators have specifically asked whether Apple colluded with record labels to thwart Amazon.com's music download store, according to the ever-present anonymous 'people briefed on the situation.' Allegedly, Apple threatened to retaliate if any music label participated in Amazon's 'MP3 Daily Deal' promotion, which offered early access to some MP3 tracks." So it looks like the Justice Department won the DoJ vs. FTC fight for the regulation bully pulpit.
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Apple Facing New Antitrust Investigation

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  • Cartel (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @05:24PM (#32353552)

    Heh, investigating Apple for leveraging dominance against the RIAA, A cartel convicted of antitrust abuses several times? How about dealing with them effectively first?

  • Re:Maybe (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WankersRevenge (452399) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @05:29PM (#32353630)
    Reminds of Forest Gump when Forest says he invested in a "fruit" company that turns out to be Apple. If people invested their money into Apple right after that movie came out, they'd be living like Gump themselves right now.
  • by melted (227442) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @05:32PM (#32353674) Homepage

    I'm sorry, this is retarded. Agreements like this amount to indentured servitude for the employees. In my experience, moving from one company to another was the surest way to boost my pay. Had I stayed with the same company for a decade, my merit rises would merely beat inflation. I would also be worth a lot less to a prospective employer due to not having a varied background.

    I would like not only these pacts to be outlawed, but non-competes as well. For trade secrets, there's the court of law where trade secret disputes can be adjudicated.

  • Re:Maybe (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pushing-robot (1037830) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @05:35PM (#32353712)

    Today wasn't the best day to become the highest-valued IT company in the world - edging out MSFT [google.com] (219.18B) by having a market cap [google.com] of 222.07B.

    That also gives Apple the second largest market cap period, behind only Exxon Mobil (278.64B). Rather incredible, since Apple only nudged into the top five last quarter and the top ten the quarter before that.

  • Re:Maybe (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @05:36PM (#32353730)

    it will become a hamstrung corporate slushy, just like Microsoft did.

    All the DOJ did was say "yep MS, you are a monopoly", the damage was already done. Microsoft managed to squash Netscape, BeOS, and all of their established competitors from the '90s.

    Other than making MS more subtle in their EEE tactics, the ruling didn't do too much. Microsoft managed to come out on top with the DOJ hearings, yeah they got a stern talking to and some bad PR, but look at post-hearing MS, it was doing remarkably well and not losing marketshare till the disaster of Vista.

    Apple has a lot more to fear than MS did. Apple doesn't supply the OS for most of the government's computers, MS does.

  • Bully Pulpit (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SlashDotDotDot (1356809) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @05:43PM (#32353786) Journal
    It says bully pulpit [wikipedia.org]. Which is something else entirely.
  • Re:Maybe (Score:3, Interesting)

    by evilbessie (873633) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @05:53PM (#32353908)
    Err, why not get the Europeans to sort out this mess? They actually manage to do something* about Microsoft... *It could have been better, I grant you but they have effectively forced their hand on opening up protocols and standards. There is however more time which needs to pass, not quite sure how much though.
  • Re:Maybe (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @06:54PM (#32354638) Journal

    Uhhh...You DO know that Apple owns over 90% [wikipedia.org] of the HDD based PMPs and more than 70% of ALL PMPs, yes? And since we are talking about music I'd find it hard for anyone to say that Apple was anything BUT a monopoly in that field.

    I don't see how their lock in with iTMS and using that lock in to hamstring competitors is ANY different than MSFT using Windows to kill Netscape. So I'm sorry Apple fanboys if old Steve is using iTMS to screw over competitors they need to be busted. How is this any different from MSFT or Intel screwing those that refuse to play ball? MSFT said "Want good prices on windows? Screw BeOS and anybody else that wants to sell a desktop" while Intel said "Want a good deal on chips? Screw AMD and take this Netburst and like it" while Apple is saying "Want to be on iTMS? Screw Amazon". I don't see ANY difference in the tactics.

    Just because old Steve has good taste doesn't mean he can screw his competitors with monopolistic behavior, hence the investigation. If the allegations are true it seems pretty open and shut to me. And before any fanboys scream "MSFT shill!" I would point out that to this day I STILL think MSFT should have been broken up. Too much power concentrated into a single company is never good for the market.

  • by Shivetya (243324) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @07:00PM (#32354722) Homepage Journal

    because they cut us out and favored the publishers.

    As for their music policy, I bet the arguments over only a 30 cent spike were not as heated as many suspect, frankly I would not doubt Apple welcomed it.

  • Re:Riiiiight! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pandrijeczko (588093) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @07:15PM (#32354900)

    If I go to a supplier and say "I want you to supply me with 100 £5 widgets for £4 each and I want you to supply me with them first", that's competition.

    If I go to a supplier and say "I don't want you to supply Fred Bloggs with £5 widgets for anything less than £4.50 and make sure he gets them late", that's monopolistic.

    Like I said, wipe away the spittle and go back and *READ* the article more carefully, thanks.

  • Re:Maybe (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @08:57PM (#32356136) Homepage Journal

    "As a consumer, and owner of several Apple products,"

    I see a hint of hypocrisy here. You complain that they are to powerful, but you support them with your hard earned cash money. If they are bad, why do you give them money?

    BTW - I've taught my kid properly. He bought a USED iPod, and immediately jailbroke the damned thing. He uses it as he wishes. He sent no money to Apple, and he got exactly what he wanted, and uses it in exactly the way he wishes. At this point in time, I believe he is aiming at an Android next. Of course, he has more plans than money, so he may or may not have an Android in his future. ;^)

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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