Is New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer onto something around the pricing of digital music? His office has issued subpoenas to Sony, Warner, EMI and Vivendi in some sort of antitrust probe. Most media coverage suggests the labels want to pressure Apple to switch to a variable pricing model, where prices for top acts' cuts are higher and less popular music can be priced lower (uh, right). "The war between Apple and the industry flared back in September when Mr. Jobs blasted music industry executives. He called the industry executives “greedy” for pushing for an increase in the price of downloaded music, saying their demands, if met, would serve to encourage piracy."
Red Herring can't imagine what possible collusion there could be. "With the digital music industry in such disarray, it is difficult to see where the opportunity for collusion or antitrust violations exists. The industry sees music downloads as its major future distribution model. The current physical model of distribution via CDs is rapidly losing its appeal among consumers."