Apple is in some hot water after reportedly pushing music labels to end their relationship with Spotify’s free tier ahead of the relaunch of Apple Beats’ own streaming service, the Verge reports.
Department of Justice officials have already interviewed top music industry executives, while the Federal Trade Commission has ramped up its investigation in recent weeks.
According to the Verge’s Micah Singleton, Apple’s primary goal is to eliminate the “freemium” users of streaming services like Spotify, which comprise the vast majority — about 75 percent — of Spotify’s users.
Doing so would free up a huge chunk of the market from which Apple could take. The Verge also reports that Apple offered to pay YouTube’s music-licensing fee to Universal Music Group, which would eliminate yet another huge chunk of the streaming competition.
“All the way up to Tim Cook, these guys are cutthroat,” one music industry source told the Verge.
Of course they are; Apple is even trying to take business from the innocent watch industry.
Apple bought Beats for $3 billion in 2013. Since then, the streaming service has struggled to compete with the likes of Spotify and Pandora.
They may now have to pay a hefty price for using possibly some desperate and unethical strategies to go after their competition.