The European Commission is examining Apple’s music streaming service. Government regulators are looking to the tech giant’s dealing with digital music companies and record labels. There is concern they are unfairly limiting rivals. Apple plans to unveil its music streaming service that rivals companies like Spotify and Rhapsody.
Potential problems with Apple’s music streaming service
The EC searched for details from music companies and their agreements with the iPhone maker. The commission is most concerned with Apple using its size and influence to get users to abandon rivals. The European Commission also plans to search for wrongdoing. If it is successful at finding any wrongdoing in its search, the EC will make modifications and possibly impose fines.
Representatives for Apple and the EC have yet to comment on the matter. Apple got slapped with a hefty fine of $450 million over allegations of conspiring with five book publishers to raise the prices of e-books at the dismay of rivals.
The record labels in question received questionnaires regarding the agreements they made with Apple. The questionnaires launch from formal complaints sent to the commission. It is important to point out that the questionnaires are the launching point of the probe and are not necessarily an indication of a formal antitrust investigation.
The Beats acquisition
Apple acquired Beats Electronics less than a year ago for $3 billion. The company reportedly plans on transforming it into a paid music streaming service. Unlike main rival Spotify, Apple won’t offer a free service supported by ads. The tech giant already offers a streaming service similar to Pandora. Apple Radio is expected to offer both customized and preset radio stations for listeners. Although it is an ideal service for those who like to discover music, it doesn’t satisfy those who want to make playlists.
The music streaming business is a growing industry, and Apple wants to be a part of it.