Apple Music faces antitrust investigation

US attorney generals investigate tech giant's streaming service for potentially preferential deals

Apple's new music streaming servicehas come under investigation for potentially anti-competitive activities, just days after its launch.

The attorney generals of both New York and Connecticut are examining whether Apple signed preferential deals with big studio labels at the expense of other streaming services to support its latest product, Apple Music.

The offering is based on Apple's$3 billion takeover of Beats Music, and was launchedat the tech giant'sWorldWide Developer Conferencein San Francisco on Monday.

The rise of streaming services like Deezer and Spotify has led to "new and different ways" to listen to music, a spokesman for New York attorney-general Eric Schneiderman said in a statement.

However, he added that the market must remain competitive in order for this to continue.

"To preserve these benefits, it's important to ensure that the market continues to develop free from collusion and other anti-competitive practices," he said.

This is the second time Apple has come under scrutiny regarding this issue.

The EU launched an exploratory probe into the same subject earlier this year, sending quesionnaires about the company's behaviour to labels and rival platforms.

While music star Jay Z's streaming service Tidal makes a point of emphasising its exclusive releases, Apple has, thus far, made no mention of any such agreements.

Universal Music Group, one of the major US labels linked to the investigations, has denied having any contracts with Apple that would restrict it from signing deals with free or ad-supported services.

It is, however, a minority stakeholder in Tidal, with many of its biggest artists offering timed exclusives to the service's customers.

The main rival to Apple Music is Spotify, butthe primarily ad-supported service has run into trouble recently.

Several artists, including pop princess Taylor Swift, have pulled their catalogues from the platform following spats over its free tier.

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