On Christmas Eve, at the height of a holiday season that Steve Jobs claimed was the first in a decade he got to spend with his family, Apple’s (AAPL) ailing CEO was on the phone screaming at the chairman of Sony Music (SNE).
That’s the picture Tim Arango paints in Monday’s
New York Times
in an article that describes the “tense and antagonistic” relations behind the seemingly harmonious music pricing agreement unveiled at Macworld less than two weeks later.
On Jan. 6, Apple announced that the major record labels had agreed to drop their demands for copy protection in return for the right to charge more than 99 cents for new and popular songs on Apple’s iTunes store.
But according to Arango, the negotiations were anything but cordial.
Although Jobs has since taken a leave of absence to deal with medical problems, the music industry does not expect Apple’s bargaining manners to become any more pleasant.