Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

EU Regulators to Look Into iTunes Streaming Agreements

Matthew Garraham and Tim Bradshaw, Financial Times:

The commission, which also has contacted Apple’s music-streaming rivals, is said to be concerned that the company will use its size, relationships and influence to persuade labels to abandon free, ad-supported services such as Spotify, which depend on licenses with music companies for their catalogues.

I wouldn’t suggest that the commission is wrong or misguided, but Apple doesn’t exactly have the negotiating power it once did:

According to several music executives, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks are private, Apple recently tried but failed to persuade record labels to agree to lower licensing costs that would have let Apple sell subscriptions to its streaming service for $8 a month — a discount from the $10 that has become standard for services like Spotify, Rhapsody and Rdio.

Maybe the EU commission will find evidence of wrongdoing. But most people I know don’t really use iTunes any more; it was “tired” in 2012, out-cooled by streaming services. I’m not sure this is akin to Microsoft bundling Internet Explorer with Windows, but who knows?