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 Jan 07, 2005 - 08:00 AM - by Michael
* Apple Sued over iTunes/iPod lockdown

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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft
Apple is being sued by a user who claims that locking iTunes to only work with the iPod is an illegal monopolistic practice.

The key to such a lawsuit would be convincing a court that a single product brand like iTunes is a market in itself separate from the rest of the online music market, according to Ernest Gellhorn, an antitrust law professor at George Mason University.

There is legal precedent for such claims, but courts usually conclude competing products as viable alternatives, Gellhorn said.

"As a practical matter, the lower courts have been highly skeptical of such claims," Gellhorn said.

...

"Apple has unlawfully bundled, tied, and/or leveraged its monopoly in the market for the sale of legal online digital music recordings to thwart competition in the separate market for portable hard drive digital music players, and vice-versa," the suit charged.

Slattery called himself an iTunes customer who "was also forced to purchase an Apple iPod" if he wanted to take his music with him to listen to.
Having seen iTunes, I remain unimpressed. That being said, when iTunes came out it was the only option available. The fact that other networks like "Napster" have attempted to break into that market since, shouldn't change the fact that the iPod-locked iTunes was a monopoly in its market for about 4-6 months.
 

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