Apple is gearing up to launch its own music streaming platform soon. That could actually be a bad thing for consumers because the company wants to put an end to free streaming services from sites like Spotify to make room for its new product. It looks like Apple is pressuring music executives to make this happen, and the FTC has taken notice.
Tim Cook and company are playing hardball with music industry execs to end free streaming as we know it. They're using Apple's considerable bargaining power to convince record labels not to renew licensing agreements with free streaming services. That's bad news for the roughly 45 million users that enjoy Spotify's free service.
Getting the music labels to kill the freemium tiers from Spotify and others could put Apple in prime position to grab a large swath of new users when it launches its own streaming service, which is widely expected to feature a considerable amount of exclusive content.
Apple has also tried to convince Universal Music Group to end its relationship with YouTube, according to The Verge.
Apple's wheeling and dealing isn't going unnoticed. The FTC and the Department of Justice are taking a closer look at Apple to make sure the company's business practices are on the up-and-up.
DOJ officials have already interviewed high-ranking music industry executives about Apple’s business habits, but it appears the FTC has taken the lead in recent weeks.
This isn't just an issue in the U.S., either. The European Union’s Competition Commission is also looking into Apple's attempts to get rid of free streaming services.