Online Music Antitrust, Redux

15 Feb ’06

More news from the front lines of Spitzer v. Record Labels, as the media reports a new round of subpoenas in his investigation of online-music pricing:

New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has sent record labels a new round of subpoenas in his investigation of online-music pricing, music industry sources said Tuesday.

The second inquiry, following an initial round of subpoenas issued in late December, is more tightly focused on the issue of the labels’ digital download activities, sources said. Labels had previously expressed concern to Spitzer’s office that the original subpoenas were too broad, sources said.

Everybody has learned enough from Spitzer’s previous investigations to know that the best response is to “co-operate fully” and refer all inquiries to Luis and Homer in Shipping, where the phone rings endlessly and email disappears into oblivion. There will be little news of substance on this for a while yet – we are still in hunker-down mode.

Perhaps the only thing more jarring than Spitzer v. Music is to see CNet describe the recent past as “the early days of digital music”. Gadzooks – what, am I 87 already? I haven’t had time yet to sit on a porch and reminisce about “the summer of ought-four” and already we’re talking about the early days of digital music?

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