Apple Getting The Microsoft Treatment From EU
from the the-tragedy-of-success dept
By entering into an agreement with EMI to sell DRM-free music, Apple may pacify some of its critics in Europe that want the company enjoined from selling DRM-laden tracks. But, just as it dodges one bullet, there may be another one to contend with. There are reports that the EU is set launch an investigation into the iTunes store for alleged antitrust violations. This time, the problem is not DRM, but rather the fact that Apple has different iTunes storefronts in different European countries. A spokesman for Apple said that the company doesn't believe it's in violation of the law, and that it's only following the wishes of the music labels in selling music on a country by country basis. This is basically the same line it's trotted out with respect to DRM, that it's all the labels' fault. While some consumers might find themselves inconvenienced by the system, this seems like a rather weak reason for the EU to go after the company -- it's certainly unclear how this falls under the rubric of anticompetitive behavior. The EU already has a clear track record of going after companies that are too successful, with Microsoft being a prime example, and it's starting to look like Apple is getting the same treatment.