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For six years, the Internet Nexus served as my technology blog, but I've since started blogging at the SuperSite Blog instead. If you're looking for the blog, please head there. --Paul

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Music Industry Faces Pricing Probe on Downloads

Wall Street Journal (paid subscription required):
New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has subpoenaed at least three of the four global music companies as part of what one company described as "an industry-wide investigation" into collusion on pricing of digitally downloaded music.

Warner Music Group Corp. and Sony BMG Music Entertainment confirmed they had received subpoenas in a probe into pricing in online music downloads. The major record labels have recently been in a public spat with Apple Computer Inc. and its iTunes Music Store over iTunes' 99-cent-per-song retail price for music, which the labels want to increase and Apple wants to leave alone.

In a statement, a Warner company spokesman said: "We are cooperating fully." A spokesman for Sony BMG, which is jointly owned by Sony Corp. and Bertelsmann AG, said the company "will respond to the Attorney General's subpoena request and intends to cooperate fully."

Warner Music Group first disclosed the subpoena in a public filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Friday afternoon.
Interesting, mostly because many tech-savvy people I know would be keen to take Apple's side on this (i.e. that fixed 99 cent pricing is the way to go.) I don't actually agree with that. I think new songs should cost more than 99 cents, and that the vast majority of each record company's catalog should be available for as little as 49 cents a song. Fixed pricing isn't just potentially illegal, it's impossible in an open market. And it's bad for consumers.
[ Posted at 10:03 PM | Permalink ]


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