Music Companies In Korea Guilty Of Price Fixing, Collusion For Boycotting DRM-Free Music Retailers
from the is-that-a-surprise? dept
For many years, we've wondered why there hasn't been a serious lawsuit brought against various companies in the music industry (and possibly the tech industry) for price fixing around digital music. The fact that the labels are dictating prices to retailers as well as all agreeing on identical prices certainly hints pretty strongly at price fixing or some form of collusion. But it seems that most folks just don't care. However, over in Korea, a bunch of digital music players -- including services, labels and telcos -- have been fined for price fixing (thanks to Bas for pointing this out). The details are a bit confusing in the link above, but other reports highlight that a part of the problem was the labels pulling music from services that didn't offer DRM. They also used this as an opportunity to fix prices:
"In order to block competition coming from smaller businesses, the companies listed above rigged their own prices. By rigging the prices in compliance with one another, they placed great harm on the consumers and other businesses in the industry. Indeed, by equalizing the prices of their products, they've made the music industry believe that such a phenomenon was permanent. They have completely set up a blockade against the production of products that fit in different price categories. This is a violation of the consumer's right of choice."