Apple Music could soon be under federal investigation. U.S. Senator Al Franken wrote a letter to the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission requesting an investigation of the licensing terms of Apple Music, and whether the terms put rivals at a disadvantage.
Franken claimed in his letter that Apple charges a hefty fee of 30% for in-app purchases. The tech giant also prevents developers from informing customers of cheaper services available on their websites. He further elaborated the restrictions offer zero benefits and the means the consumer pays over current market price. Franken added, “Increased competition in the music streaming market should mean that consumers will ultimately benefit through more choices of better products and at lower prices.”
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FTC considers Apple Music investigation
The FTC is already taking a look at the complaints, but it has not started official investigation procedures yet. The FTC and DOJ declined to comment on the matter. Analysts note Apple plays both sides of the coin as it provides a platform for rivals to create iOS apps, but it also offers its own version of a music streaming service.
Apple’s plan to take over music industry
The nonprofit Consumer Watchdog also sent a letter to the FTC claiming Apple urged Sony, Universal, and Warner Brothers to give them exclusive rights to music, a move that could make ad-supported streaming services obsolete. The group hopes the FTC will prevent Apple’s potential plans to take over the music market.
Potential FTC and DOJ investigations are not be the only concerns the Cupertino-based tech giant should have right now. The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple recently slammed the new streaming music service in a blog post. He first started noticing problems a week after he installed Apple Music. His frustrations began when he added albums to his library and some of the songs were missing. He had to click on “Show complete album” and manually click add for each missing song. He also noted that Apple would then remove the songs just one day after he manually added them, forcing him to manually add the songs for a second time. After experiencing other frustrations with Apple Music, Dalrymple decided to turn off Apple Music, and then the service took 4,700 songs off his library including songs imported from old CDs.