Is The iPod Anti-Competitive?

from the er...-probably-not dept

The French online music store, Virgin Mega, has apparently decided that rather than get accused by Apple of hacking to get their songs to play on the iPod, they’re simply going to sue Apple for being anti-competitive in not being willing to license their FairPlay DRM. As many people pointed out during the whole RealNetworks mess, all the site really needs to do is offer songs for sale in a non-DRM’d format such as MP3 and they’ll work just fine on the iPod. It is amusing, of course, that this supposedly “anti-competitive” move is actually limiting Apple’s market. Apple has made it clear that they don’t make money on iTunes, but on the iPod. By making it so other music stores can’t get their music on the iPod Apple is simply making the iPod less attractive. Is it illegal to make bad business decisions for your own company?

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Comments on “Is The iPod Anti-Competitive?”

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signal7 says:

It does make sense in a twisted sort of way...

Apple might not be making much, but the recording industry is probably making a lot of money off of ITMS. I could see where Apple may have signed into an exclusive contract with the recording industry for the sole purpose of pushing the iPod. Contrary to that, the recording industry may have put in an exclusive option to prevent Apple/Fairplay from becoming the defacto standard. I mean, if you have one standard used for all devices and some cracker breaks that standard, then everyone will be sharing their tunes online. Even worse, patching the hole would be a BIG problem since you’d have to patch every device on the market. We can’t have that, can we?

Permanent4 (profile) says:

Why not the other way around?

Why don’t more MP3 player manufacturers just license the MPEG-4 AAC codec? It’s already public knowledge that you can take the DRM off an iTunes Music Store purchase. If the resulting files could be playable in other MP3 players, why don’t companies like iRiver and Creative and Rio go for that? It’s not like they have a vested interest in the success of Windows Media, is it?

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