Blog Post

Subpoenas Over Download Price

Just a quickie…New York’s attorney general Eliot Spitzer is investigating whether the four record companies that dominate the industry have violated antitrust laws in the pricing of songs sold online, according to people involved in the inquiry. According to the New York Times the companies which have already been subpoenad are Universal Music Group, Sony BMG, EMI Group and Warner Music Group.
The issue appears to be the current battle between the record labels and Apple over the price of downloads…
This is important to mobile music because the premium set on song downloads by services such as Sprint are only going to be widely accepted if the labels get their way and raise the price of digital downloads from services such as iTunes. Likewise, if the carriers match the 99c price tag of Apple (such as Amp’d is planning to do) they’ll make a loss under the current licensing regime, which isn’t very sustainable. If Spitzer proves price collusion in downloads he should then turn the mobile download licensing deals…