Labels' pants on fire in Napster case

by Jason Gross

4 May 2006

 

Granted that this is week-old news by now but this is still amusing and worth repeating: Did EMI and UMG Lie to Antitrust Investigators?.  Seems that during the Napster trial (the original Napster that was a file-sharing service, remember?) the labels (oops) let it slip out that they were in collusion over pricing for digital downloads- a dirty little detail that they didn’t want to become public.  According to the EFF article linked above, though they got off the hook from the Department of Justice before, a judge is now looking into these allegations and demanding that they turn over documents related to this.  If it turns out that they did get together to price fix, these labels are gonna get fined (probably not as much as they should be) but also, this might call into question the whole pricing structure that they’ve just settled with Apple.  If that gets disrupted, it could K.O. the recent surge in online sales they’ve had that have offset their slumping CD sales (which is of course all the fault of digital downloaders and not crappy product, right?).

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