It looks as if the Federal Trade Commission is joining the hit parade of government entities who are scrutinizing Apple’s dealings with record labels and artists as a part of the company’s efforts to revamp its Beat Music streaming service.
According to sources, the FTC is concerned that Apple is leveraging iTunes’ considerable sway as the world’s biggest digital music purveyor to gain an unfair advantage over potential rivals in the streaming music business, reports Bloomberg.
The U.S. Department of Justice, and the European Commission are already reported to be looking into Apple’s dealings with the labels and artists.
Apple is reported to have approached more than a dozen artists with exclusivity agreements designed to give Apple’s revamped service a leg up on competitors such as Spotify.
The FTC is reported to have conducted inquiries with multiple record labels regarding possible misconduct, although it was not immediately known if the inquiries bore fruit. The FTC is concerned that Apple’s dealings with the artists and labels will affect the way the labels interact with other streaming services, possibly favoring services with expensive subscription-based tiers.
A report earlier this week told of a similar investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, also into Apple’s streaming business practices. Apple is allegedly attempting to persuade labels to not renew free streaming licenses with Spotify, and has also reportedly offered to pay the amount of YouTube’s music licensing fee to Universal Music Group if the label stopped allowing its music to be played on YouTube.