Justice Department Probes Apple’s iTunes Practices

According to a recent report by the New York Times, the US Department of Justice is currently examining Apple’s dominant role in the online music market to determine if it has been undermining Amazon’s ability to compete effectively. The investigation specifically scrutinizes whether Apple has misused its iTunes platform to block Amazon’s MP3 store from obtaining exclusive rights to certain songs.

Allegations suggest that Apple has threatened to limit promotional support for record labels that provide Amazon with exclusive access to new tracks.

Consequently, even though these songs remain available on iTunes, they lack the promotional boost from Apple, potentially leading to lower sales.

In a related report from March, Billboard disclosed that Apple had been actively discouraging publishers from engaging in Amazon’s “Daily Deals,” a promotion that offers significant discounts on music. Apple allegedly threatened to withdraw advertising from those who participated, leading several labels to withdraw from the Amazon promotions.

Moreover, the Department of Justice has also initiated an investigation into Apple’s iPhone OS 4 SDK, which prohibits the conversion of apps originally developed for Adobe Flash, Sun Java, or Microsoft Silverlight/Mono.

This development adds another layer of complexity to Apple’s ongoing legal challenges.

Additional insights on this topic can be found at Ars Technica and Electronista.


Kevin is a dedicated writer for TUAW, where he brings the latest Apple news to life. With a keen eye for detail, Kevin covers everything from the newest iPhone releases to the latest updates on macOS. His insightful articles help readers stay informed about their favorite Apple products, including the iPad, Apple Watch, and MacBook. Kevin’s commitment to delivering accurate and engaging content makes him a trusted voice in the Apple community.