Feeds

DoJ 'to probe music download pricing'

Spitzer enquiry proving fruitful?

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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? ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?