The Justice Department is said to be scrutinizing Apple's practices in the online music business.
In what sources say is the beginnings of an antitrust enquiry, the New York Times reports that the U.S. Department of Justice is examining Apple's tactics in the market for digital music, and its staff members have talked to major music labels and Internet music companies.
NYT cites several people briefed on the conversations who say that although things have, for the most part, revolved around the dynamics of selling music online, investigators are also asking about recent accusations that Apple used its dominant market position to persuade music labels to refuse Amazon exclusive access to new music.
According to the Times, a March Billboard Magazine reports claims that Amazon went to music labels seeking a day of exclusive access to new songs. In exchange, Amazon would feature the tracks on its website as part of a promotion called the "MP3 Daily Deal." However, the Billboard report says that Apple representatives urged the labels not to participate, and Apple is said to have punished those that did by withdrawing marketing support for those songs on iTunes.