US Department of Justice investigates Apple's dirty tricks

Apple has now replaced Microsoft as the world's biggest tech company and is now America's second biggest company after Exxon Mobil.

That's why it's important news that Apple is now being investigated the US Justice Department for its alleged anti-competitive behavior, trying to use the fact that it controls 70% of music downloads through iTunes to crush its competitors.

There are allegations that Apple is using dirty tricks to stay on top and that it went for Amazon's "MP3 Daily Deal," where Amazon would slash prices on specific music titles and push them heavily on the day of their release. There are claims that Apple told labels that any music included in Amazon's promotion would receive no promotion at iTunes. For labels and musicians, that meant death.

Actually, the fight between Apple and Amazon is fascinating. As one label distribution executive told Billboard earlier this year: "Amazon is fighting a guerrilla war against iTunes, and now iTunes is getting frustrated because they work hard to set up and promote a release weeks in advance of the street date, and then lo and behold, Amazon jumps in there with this deal of the day and scrapes off some of the cream."

Amazon's growth in music has been built around it competing with Apple, and Steve Jobs is not one to let that happen.

Just where the DOJ's investigation goes is anyone's guess. No doubt the music industry will be watching it keenly.


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