Apple Stock News
Apple has been using aggressive tactics to force rivals Spotify and YouTube to abandon their free streaming services, which has attracted interest from the Department of Justice, according to the Verge. Apple is attempting to get major music labels to force streaming services to force these streaming services to abandon their free tiers, as Apple prepares to release their own streaming service. An announcement of this service, which will be powered through the Beats by Dre acquisition and will remain under the iTunes name, could be announced as early as next month.
Apple was hoping to price its streaming service at $7.99, but that does not look possible as the music industry has balked at the lower price. Spotify, which is currently priced at $9.99 for the premium service, currently has 60 million users. However, only 15 million of them pay for the premium service, with the rest streaming for free. Apple has been using its considerable power in the music industry to stop music labels to not renew subscriptions allowing Spotify to stream through its free service, putting it in position to acquire a large amount of users when its service is launched.
The Verge also quoted sources saying that Apple offered to pay YouTube’s licensing fee to Universal Music Group if the group stopped allowing its songs on the video site. With its streaming service expected to debut at the World Wide Developers Conference in June, it could remove its main competition in the streaming world. This has attracted interest from the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, and the European Union’s Competition Commission is probing the company to find whether it is using its power in the music industry illegally.