NYC goes after record companies

Written by Brett Thomas

December 27, 2005 | 17:32

Tags: #general #itunes #new-york

The Attorney General of New York, Elliot Spitzer, is at it again. After wrangling with the insurance industry, wall street fat cats and various others, the champion for consumer rights has slapped subpoenas on the four biggest recording companies.

The recording companies have been putting serious pressure on Apple's iTunes to change its pricing to a variable structure. They believe that the more popular content should cost more, and want Steve-o to break the $0.99/song fixed cost. After Mr. Jobs called the industry's leaders 'greedy', the gloves came off and real threats started to be issued.

Enter: Elliot Spitzer. As iTunes does conduct business in the state of New York, Red Herring has found that Spitzer has taken a keen eye to how the record companies want to price music, as well as how profitable downloads have already been for them. Though there are no implications of wrongdoing yet, the NY AG seems to think that both the current and proposed pricing models that the recording industry demands of online retailers warrant a further look.

Though it's too soon to speculate (and I have not obtained copies of the subpoenas to see what information was requested as of yet), the track record of Spitzer's activities lead me to believe that he is looking to tell the record industry where they may shove their 'variable pricing' idea.

It's nice to feel there's SOMEONE in charge looking out for our best interests. Elliot, you're my hero.

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