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Apple’s Beats deals draw attention of regulator

FTC looking into pacts with record labels, which spell trouble for Spotify et al

Law and regulation, IT Business, Apple Incorporated

Apple's deals with record companies as part of its attempt to reinvent its acquired Beats Music streaming service has come under scrutiny from US regulators, Bloomberg reported.

Apple bought Beats for a reported $3bn, from co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, last year, aiming to bridge the gap between the Cupertino company and the music industry.

Apple also hoped the acquisition would help it compete against Spotify and other media-streaming rivals. But the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) suspects Apple may be stifling that competition unfairly through its relationships with record labels and has opened an anti-competition investigation.

Apple leads the music downloads market, and a healthy streaming business could help augment its position.