Recently I have been writing about legislation involving proposals for "Digital Rights Management" designed to protect Hollywood and the music industry. Well, while these corporations have been busy weeping about the violations of their digital "rights" and trying to overhaul the Internet and the consumer electronics industries to make the whole world take care of them and their revenue streams -- and they're only just getting started -- they are already being investigated for price fixing. (Again, I think I know who the real pirates are.)
From the Independent: US launches price-fixing probe into online music market
Music companies including EMI, the company behind Coldplay, are under investigation for alleged price fixing in the surging online market.
In the latest blow to the troubled music industry, officials from the US Justice Department are poised to issue subpoenas to leading players as they open an inquiry into the issue.
Although the investigators were tight-lipped yesterday, it is understood that the UK's EMI, along with Germany's Bertelsmann, Warner Music of the US and Japan's Sony are central to the inquiry.
The US Justice Department, which usually works in conjunction with the FBI, said yesterday: "The antitrust division is looking at the possibility of anti-competitive practices in the music download industry."
At the heart of the investigation is the suggestion that the four major labels have been placing pressure on Apple, the computer company that has taken a strong hold of the download market, to increase prices.
Let's all shed a few crocodile tears for the poor beleaguered music industry!