The U.S. Department of Justice is taking a hard look at Apple’s business practices as it gears up to relaunch its Beats streaming music service, sources tell The Verge. Apple is allegedly chipping away at Spotify’s free tier catalog in order to tip the cards in favor of its own streaming music service, set to launch this summer at $10 a month.
According to sources cited by The Verge, Apple is using its influence in the music industry to attempt to browbeat music labels into dropping their catalogs from Spotify’s free-streaming tier. Apple’s upcoming music streaming service won’t have a free tier, so chipping away at Spotify’s free music catalog will reduce its appeal and make Apple’s $10-per-month service look more robust.
Apple also offered to pay Universal Music Group the equivalent of YouTube’s music licensing fee if the group would pull its music from YouTube, sources told The Verge.
Apple is expected to relaunch its streaming music product at the WWDC conference in June.