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Business

Apple investigated by two US states over streaming service

The states of New York and Connecticut are investigating Apple's talks with music companies for antitrust violations, reports say. It comes after Apple announced its music streaming service on Monday.

According to the New York Times and other reports, the investigation aims to ascertain whether Apple pressured music companies into favoring its new streaming service, Apple Music.

They are also looking at whether the labels colluded with each other and Apple to withdraw support for popular "freemium" services offered by rival services like Spotify, and instead treating Apple's paid music subscriptions preferentially.

The reports say that the attorneys general Eric Schneiderman and George Jepsen stressed that it was important to ensure that the streaming market developed free from "collusion" and "other anti-competitive practices."

Apple has not commented on the reports. The Silicon Valley behemoth

launched its first subscription-based streaming service

, Apple Music, on Monday.

Taking on rivals like Spotify, Deezer and

Tidal

, it is late to the streaming party, but hopes to capitalize on the huge customer base it has acquired from its downloading service iTunes.

Apple Music is set to launch on June 30 across 100 countries. A $9.99 (subscription will include a dedicated 24-hour radio station called "Beats 1."

In a letter to the New York Attorney General, which was published in the New York Times, Universal Music Group denied any agreements with Apple or music companies like Sony Music and Warner Music that would impede the availability of free or ad-supported services, or prevent it from licensing its recorded music to any streaming service.

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