Apple’s music streaming plans face EC probe

Apple's unannounced Beats music service is under unconfirmed scrutiny

The European Commission (EC) is in the early stages of an investigation into Apple’s yet to be announced music streaming service to determine how it could impact the market.

Apple has not announced a music streaming service as of yet but such a move is considered highly likely after the firm acquired Beats.

A report in The Financial Times said the EC has already spoken to rival streaming services, record labels and the music industry in an attempt to identify their relationships with Apple and what kind of arrangements the firm would like to have.

Given Apple’s huge financial clout and relationship with music lables through iTunes the company could pose a serious threat to existing market leaders such as Swedish firm Spotify or French music provider Deezer.

The FT said that formal investigations would only be the result of any formal complaints from other firms in the market, but the EC can carry out its prior investigations if it feels compelled to do so.

Apple declined to comment on the reports when contacted by V3.

The EC has a long history of turning its attention to technology firms when competition complaints have been raised.

Microsoft was bound to the Browser Ballot page arrangements after complaints about the possibly overbearing presence of Internet Explorer, while Google has felt the weight of European policy through privacy inspection and search concession considerations.

Microsoft’s browser option system existed for five years and closed down late last year. The European Google investigations are long established and long drawn out.

Apple felt the brunt of a negative result last year when it came to a $450m settlement agreement with the US Department of Justice.

The firm was accused of abusing its position and colluding with publishers on e-book pricing. Apple said that it had agreed the settlement while it appealed, explaining that there was no conspiracy.

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2 April 2015 | 2:55 pm – Source: v3.co.uk

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