Total Music or Total Collusion?
Universal Music Group CEO Doug Morris’s attempt to wrest control of the digital music market from Apple has–shock!–run afoul of U.S. regulators. The Justice Department has begun investigating Universal for proposing to its three main competitors that they collaborate on “Total Music,” a service that would bake the cost of an “all-you-can-eat” music subscription into the hardware that supports it.
It’s not clear which aspect of Total Music has piqued the Justice Department’s interest, though it’s likely concerned that participating labels might collude to set wholesale music prices. And for good reason–the major labels were found guilty of wholesale CD price fixing back in 2000.