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Apple may not be trying to kill off free music streaming after all

Even before Apple Music was launched, antitrust regulators in Europe and the United States began investigating whether or not the company had been conspiring with major record labels to stifle free music streaming services like Spotify, but after a couple of months of searching, the European Commission hasn’t found any evidence of such. This means Apple is off the hook in this regard, but regulators will continue to keep their eye on the music streaming market and the company is still being investigated for other possible anti-competitive actions. 

The European Commission failed to find evidence of collusion among the major music labels and Apple to quash free music streaming services such as those offered by Spotify, according to four sources with knowledge of the matter. Investigators examined whether the labels conspired with one another or with Apple on Apple’s new streaming music service in a way that would hurt rivals. The probe failed to turn up any illegal activity, though the EU will continue to monitor the market, sources said. Separately, the EU has asked Spotify and other music streaming services for information pertaining to Apple’s mobile App Store, according to people with knowledge of the situation. Regulators are seeking information on the restrictions Apple places on apps offered through the store. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission similarly is exploring whether Apple’s treatment of rival streaming music apps in the App Store violate antitrust laws.

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