Just means Apple hasn't greased the right palms. That's what gets things done in the government anymore.
That's absurd. Even for elected office, there are no direct bribes. There's campaign donations and "winks" that indicate the offer of jobs once the person leaves government service. I've never a single report indicating that anyone at the FTC has every been directly bribed. The FTC might sometime get things wrong, but that doesn't make them corrupt.
One thing has nothing to do with the other. The FTC has nothing to do with internet speed and infrastructure. And no one is forcing Apple not to have a free streaming service. The reason why our speeds suck is because the government will not directly spend on internet infrastructure. In the capitalist U.S., that's considered the domain of private companies. In other countries, it's considered important enough that the government will invest. There's no Republican who would ever let the Government spend a penny on improving access and speed of service, although there are a few small localities who are doing this on their own.
Agreed. I think Apple should stop trying to force labels or artists into exclusives, which isn't going to happen anyway (and in my opinion, is a demonstration of Apple's arrogance), and instead create a service that is so good, people will want to use it even if it is more expensive than other services. Isn't that how they competed against illegal free download services with the iTunes eco-system? They made it better and more convenient. Apple can probably do deals where they get exclusive tracks or bonus content, just as BestBuy and Walmart sometimes get exclusive versions of movies on Blu-ray or DVD, but they're not going to be able to cut exclusive deals with artists unless they're willing to essentially become a record label and take on all that entails, which today sometimes includes merchandise, touring and music publishing.
When reading stories like this, I ask myself, "Who are the people who actually know what's going on and who are the people that would benefit from leaking to the press/government/whoever?" In this case, the people that actually would know (i.e, the labels and Apple) would get no benefit from leaking this. And the people who would benefit (i.e, Spotify and other similar services) have no inside info.
To me that says this is pretty much a witch hunt -- someone at one at the streaming services got spooked about Apple entering the market with Beats, maybe they heard something, maybe the labels started talking about changing the contract, whatever. They put a couple of things together and maybe raised a few questions at the FTC and DOJ, and now the government is taking a look for themselves.
The way it looks is that the labels want to increase their revenue and the streaming services just aren't doing it for them. The streaming services can't afford to pay more because advertising revenue isn't that great. In comes Apple with a unified system where they can have multiple tiers -- free ad supported streaming, paid monthly subscription, and actual purchases of the music, all within the same system. This isn't Apple dictating terms for the entire industry, it's the labels saying this looks an awful lot like what we want.
I doubt that Apple has dictated any terms in their contracts that would prevent the labels from continuing to work with competing streaming services. But I would not be surprised if Apple made their terms attractive enough to the labels that the terms the other services use would look horrible by comparison. If you have one customer willing to pay a lot more, the ones that don't will probably get ignored or shown the door.
AppleInsider wrote: »
News of an FTC inquiry follows claims that the DOJ is conducting a similar investigation into Apple's streaming music business practices.