An antitrust investigation into Apple’s (AAPL) upcoming music streaming service may expand to the U.S. from Europe, according to a report in the New York Post. Both the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice have been holding talks with key record label executives to determine whether the iPhone maker is blocking rivals’ access to its music streaming service, the report said. If regulators find evidence of any wrongdoing, it could enforce changes in Apple’s business model, and deliver significant fines.
Cupertino lost a major antitrust case last year in the U.S. related to its role in a conspiracy to fix prices for ebooks. The company was fined $450 million and forced to accept an antitrust monitor. The U.S. probe follows that in the European Union over actions by Apple and other music streaming companies over their freemium business practice.
Cupertino is expected to deliver its new music streaming service this summer as a major overhaul of Beats Music – the maker of the popular Beats headphones, speakers and audio software – which it acquired last year for $3 billion in cash and stock.