Policy

Sen. Franken Calls for Fed Scrutiny of Apple

Concerned Streaming Practices Could Undermine Competition 7/22/2015 2:15 PM Eastern

Add Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) to the growing list of those targeting Apple for its streaming music practices.

 

In a letter Wednesday (July 22) to Attoreny General Loretta Lynch and Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, Franken called on them to look into what he called the potential anticompetitive practices of Apple in music streaming.

 

He pointed to restrictions on competitors he said had come to light since the launch of new streaming service Apple Music (June 30).

 

"Apple’s licensing agreements have prevented companies from using their apps to inform users that lower prices are available through their own websites, to advertise the availability of promotional discounts, or to complete a transaction directly with a consumer within their app," he said. "These types of restrictions seem to offer no competitive benefit and may actually undermine the competitive process, to the detriment of consumers, who may end up paying substantially more than the current market price point."

 

Franken's letter follows one by Consumer Watchdog to the FTC and DOJ with similar concerns, and in the wake of reports the FTC is already giving the company's App Store and streaming practices a hard look.

 

Apple had not responded to requests for comment at press time.

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