Apple in court over music market ‘monopoly’
Apple today entered the US courts over allegations that the firm holds a monopoly position in the music market.
The class-action suit originates in the Cupertino company’s home state, and could reportedly see payable damages rise north of $1 billion.
It turns out the litigation is over a slightly archaic issue – apparently 2006 iTunes software was updated to lock music purchased via the platform to only play on Apple products.
This means that the businesses and individuals involved are all parties who purchased iPods between 2006 and 2009.
Apparently the updated also stopped RealPlayer music from playing on iPods, turning off many from switching to competing devices.
This means that people who’d already bought their jams from RealPlayer wouldn’t be able to use it on iPods, but buying an alternative device would block out the iTunes playlist.
The litigation consortium is looking to bag around $350 million in damages, but the US anti-trust laws triple this to upwards of $1 billion.
Apple’s response to the claims is that its software update offered improvements and shouldn’t been seen as seeking monopoly.
The firm’s top brass are due to testify in the case, and Steve Jobs will also be making a court appearance, albeit via e-mails and recordings.
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