Apple asks court to dismiss iTunes antitrust case


19 Apr 2011

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Apple asked a federal judge to dismiss an antitrust lawsuit against iTunes, stating that it blocked iPod music downloads through competitors to improve download quality.

According to Bloomberg, the initial case claimed Apple limited choice by only linking iPod music downloading to iTunes.

In 2004, digital media solution provider RealNetworks unveiled technology to allow songs on its own online store to be played on iPods.

However, days later, Apple blocked this service, sparking anti-competitive claims.

According to Robert Mittelstaedt, an attorney working for Apple, the company believes iPods “work better when consumers use the iTunes jukebox rather than third-party software that can cause corruption or other problems.”

He cited 58 consumer downloading complaints which prompted the company’s decision to prevent iPods from loading music downloaded from other competing services.

US District Judge James Ware asked if Apple had completed tests to see if other companies’ downloads caused these complaints and Mittelstaedt said they did not.

Bonny Sweeney, a lawyer representing iTunes customers who sued the company, said there was no legacy software which would let them conduct accurate tests.

Ware will decide on whether or not to dismiss the case by May.