FTC's Apple Music investigation focuses on anti-competitive practices

FTC investigates Apple Music for anti-competitive practices


Apple doesn't charge Apple Music 30 percent of its subscriber fees.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple’s new streaming music service is coming under fire from the Federal Trade Commission for possible anti-competitive practices.

The recently launched Apple Music costs $9.99 per subscription (or $14.99 for an up-to-six-person family plan), with the first three months free. Competing services like Spotify or Rdio are subject to Apple’s 30 percent take from any app sold on the App Store, which makes the FTC uncomfortable, as Apple Music is not subject to the same rules.

The FTC is issuing subpoenas to various music streaming services as part of its ongoing investigation, says The Verge, citing sources with direct knowledge of the proceedings.

Spotify thinks the same thing, of course, and has actually urged users to stop paying their subscriptions via the App Store.

The 30 percent fee that Apple charges app makers is passed along to subscribers by services like Rdio, Spotify, and Tidal. Many of these services charge up to $3 more per monthly subscription when managed through the App Store.

Apple Music, on the other hand, is not subject to the 30 percent rule, and it can offer a free trial, something other services are disallowed under Apple’s terms.

This isn’t the first time Apple’s been looked at for anti-competitive practices, the Cupertino-based tech company had to deal with a massive antitrust lawsuit brought by the Department of Justice in 2013.

We’ll keep you posted on the current FTC wrangling, and have reached out to Apple for comment.

Source: The Verge


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