According to a report in the New York Times, Apple is facing an antitrust investigation by the US Justice Department, over its iTunes strategy. Of particular interest are recent claims that Apple flexed its muscles to prevent labels from running exclusive deals and promotions with the rival Amazon MP3 Store. The NYT says the Justice Department has been talking to several labels and online music companies, and cites “people briefed on the enquiries” as saying the Amazon issue was a key question from the department. The inquiry is thought to be at a preliminary stage: “Certainly if the Justice Department is getting involved, it raises the possibility of potential serious problems down the road for Apple,” says antitrust lawyer Daniel Brown. A separate report on CNET confirms the story with two of its own “high level music industry sources”.

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