The hushed whispers surrounding the Federal Trade Commission's supposed investigation into Apple's Beats Music service relaunch have gotten a little louder. From the sounds of it, Cupertino's approached record labels and over a dozen of artists, throwing its weight around as the largest seller of music to snag "limited exclusive" rights and partnerships to pad out a new version of the formerly-owned-by Dr. Dre music service. Bloomberg's sources say that the FTC's still pretty early in the process, but the inquiry revolves around how Apple's dominance in the music sales space, coupled with exclusive deals, could put the likes of Spotify at a disadvantage. It's something other streaming outfits like Tidal don't exactly have to worry about because they don't have iTunes attached to them.
In other words, it's checking to see if these deals would push other labels to change how they deal with Apple's rivals. Specifically? Music moving from free tiers and getting locked behind paywalls is one example. It's something The Verge's sources recently pointed out as an implication, and that Bloomberg's corroborate. Naturally, no one involved wants to give an official comment, but with Apple's World Wide Developer's Conference coming up it shouldn't be too long before that changes.