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Warner Hears The Music From Spitzer

David A. Utter
Staff Writer
Published: 2005-12-26

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Steve Jobs isn't the only one concerned about pressure from the major music labels over music download pricing; New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has sent Warner Music Group a subpoena about the issue.

Warner's CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr has been critical of the one-price-fits-all model of iTunes, calling for a two-tiered system where higher prices dominate for newer and popular music. It's a position Jobs and iTunes parent Apple have resisted, calling it greedy and citing the likelihood a price increase would push people back to file-sharing instead of purchasing music online.

Now, Bloomberg has reported Bronfman received an early Christmas present from Spitzer's office in the form of a subpoena. Spitzer is investigating the music industry to see if they have violated antitrust laws regarding the price of digital music.

Warner acknowledged the subpoena in an 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company plans to cooperate fully with the investigation. Responses from the other labels are not yet known.

Apple's 99 cents per song model has been credited with reviving the music industry; labels earn 70 cents per download, and that figure could be higher for the major labels. 300 million songs were downloaded online from January to November 2005, Bloomberg noted.

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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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