Spotify’s case against Apple in Europe goes pfffft


Did Apple collude illegally with the three big music labels to put the squeeze on Spotify and the other music streaming services?

That’s still an open question in the U.S., where every leak about possible federal or state investigations has been dutifully reported and re-reported.

European authorities meanwhile, pursuing a parallel investigation, have reached a preliminary conclusion. Mlex, a trade publication specializing in regulatory issues, has the scoop:

“Moves by the European Commission this spring to investigate the emerging market for music streaming have failed to turn up proof of misconduct by the music labels and Apple.

“The file will remain open, however, while licensing talks continue between Spotify and some labels.”

The books have not been closed on this side of the pond, either. According to Re/Code’s Dawn Chmielewski, the FTC is still looking into whether the 30% cut Apple takes on online purchases—including digital music—can be construed as a violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

As we reported last month, that one looks like a long shot. See Can the U.S. build an antitrust case against Apple Music?

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple (AAPL) coverage at or subscribe via his RSS feed.

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