Justice Department Wants Oversight of Apple ITunes Store

Antitrust efforts running amok


Apple Inc.'s e-book problem is spilling over into its other media businesses.

After winning its antitrust lawsuit over Apple's e-book pricing, the Justice Department said Friday it wants to prevent Apple from engaging in anticompetitive conduct across the content sold in its iTunes store, including movies, music and television shows.

The company has been an aggressive bargainer in opening up traditional media to digital distribution, most notably with music. If the judge adopts the Justice Department's recommendations, Apple may not have the same leverage when negotiating future content deals as it tries to expand its offerings.

"Under the department's proposed order, Apple's illegal conduct will cease and Apple and its senior executives will be prevented from conspiring to thwart competition in the future," said Bill Baer, assistant attorney general in charge of the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division.