Apple faces online music probe over exclusive content

Justice Department seeks answers

Apple is facing an inquiry into how it deals with exclusive content, after it was alleged that the company asked music labels not to do pre-release deals with e-tailer Amazon.

Although details are sketchy, it is thought that the Justice Department in the US is looking into Apple's dominance in the online music market and the possibility that it asked music retailers to stop giving Amazon access to exclusive tracks.

Music matters

The New York Times is reporting that the allegations centre around an Amazon promotion called MP3 Daily Deal.

This deal, set up with the music labels, meant Amazon was selling tracks before they were released on any other download site, including iTunes.

Because of the situation, it seems that the antitrust division of the Justice Department is looking into Apple to see if its dominant market position is being used to snaffle any hope its rivals have in doing deals with labels.

Apple is currently the number one online music retailer in the world, selling 8.5 billion songs worldwide and housing 11 million tracks on its iTunes Store.

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Marc (Twitter, Google+) is the content team lead for Future Technology, where he is in charge of a 14-strong team of journalists who write many of the wonderful stories that end up on TechRadar, T3.com and T3 magazine. Prior to this he was deputy editor of TechRadar, had a 10-month stint editing a weekly iPad magazine, written film reviews for a whole host of publications and has been an integral part of many magazines that are no longer with us.