Feeds

DoJ 'to probe music download pricing'

Spitzer enquiry proving fruitful?

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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? ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
Class war! Wikipedia's workers revolt again
Bourgeois paper-shufflers have 'suspended democracy', sniff unpaid proles
'Aaaah FFS, 'amazeballs' has made it into the OXFORD DICTIONARY'
Plus: 'EE, how shocking, ANOTHER problem I face with your service'
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.