Well that was quick. Apple’s music streaming service hasn’t even launched yet but the company is already being investigated by antitrust regulators in two states regarding the service. Regulators from Connecticut and New York have launched investigations into Apple Music to see whether or not the company worked with the music industry “to suppress the availability to consumers of free, advertising-supported, on-demand music streaming or similar services, such as those offered by Spotify and YouTube.”
Attorneys general of the U.S. states of New York and Connecticut have launched an investigation into the music streaming industry, apparently with a focus on whether the recently-unveiled Apple Music has broken antitrust rules. The joint probe by the two states was disclosed in a letter from Universal Music Group to the Antitrust Bureau of the office of the New York attorney general. In the letter written on its behalf by law firm Hunton & Williams, UMG said it understands that the joint investigation is concerned particularly about whether the music industry is working together “to suppress the availability to consumers of free, advertising-supported, on-demand music streaming or similar services, such as those offered by Spotify and YouTube.” Apple unveiled Monday a subscription streaming music service that is priced at US$10 a month, with a family service also available for up to six family members for $15 per month. Unlike services from rivals like Spotify, Apple Music will not offer music that is offered free with advertisements. The company instead will offer a three-month free trial period and promises that artists may make various kinds of content available on its promotional Connect section.