Feeds

DoJ 'to probe music download pricing'

Spitzer enquiry proving fruitful?

3 Big data security analytics techniques

US Department of Justice investigators have begun to probe major music labels' download pricing policies, sources close to the world's four biggest recording companies told Billboard magazine.

According to the report, the DoJ has started sending out subpoenas to Warner Music Group, EMI, Sony BMG and Universal Music Group, though only EMI would comment officially, claiming it had yet to receive anything from the DoJ.

The DoJ has not yet confirmed the investigation, which is believed to parallel a similar probe being conducted by New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. That enquiry began looking at the way labels promote music on the radio, but is believed to have been extended to digital music pricing, with subpoenas sent out late last year.

Spitzer is concerned that the major labels may have effectively colluded to set download wholesale prices by imposing terms and conditions that ensure none of them get a worse deal than the rest.

Whether that's anti-competitive or not is open to question. Consumers buy by artist not by price, and since the labels have exclusive rights to individual recordings, there's little or no scope for direct price competition. How likely is it, for example, that a Tom Petty buy Wildflowers (on Warner) rather than, say, Southern Accents (on UMG subsidiary label MCA, now Geffen) solely because it's 10 cents a track cheaper to download? ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.