The U.S. Department of Justice has begun asking questions about Apple's role in the recent scaling back of special music discounts and promotions at Amazon, according to two high level music industry sources.
The sources said investigators have begun speaking to a number of digital music retailers and top record labels about Apple's response to the "MP3 Daily Deal," an Amazon promotion that involved slashing prices on specific titles and pushing them heavily the day they were released. Amazon sometimes negotiated with the labels to get exclusive access to the music for a day, and the labels and their artists would often support the Daily Deal by promoting it on their Web sites.
Apple managers had informed the labels that any music included in Amazon's promotion would receive no promotion at iTunes, music industry sources told CNET in April. In one case, an industry source said then, Apple complained to Sony Music Entertainment after seeing material from Alicia Keys touted as part of the Daily Deal.
For more on this story, read DOJ inquires about Apple's hold on digital music on CNET News.