A US jury on Tuesday cleared Apple Inc of abusing its dominant market position in an antitrust case over online music for the iPod.
The class-action antitrust case in California’s US federal court featured videotaped testimony recorded by Apple cofounder Steve Jobs before he died in 2011.
The US$350 million suit accused the tech giant of illegally forcing iPod users to purchase their music on its iTunes service.
The suit said iPod buyers between 2006 and 2009 were blocked from buying music from other vendors, advancing Apple’s dominant position on music downloads.
The jury ruled otherwise.
“We thank the jury for their service and we applaud their verdict,” Apple said in a statement. “We created iPod and iTunes to give our customers the world’s best way to listen to music. Every time we’ve updated those products — and every Apple product over the years — we’ve done it to make the user experience even better.”
Jobs’ testimony from a few months before his death in October 2011 was played at the hearing on Friday last week.
In excerpts published by online news site The Verge, he said that Apple was “very concerned” about retaliatory measures that could be taken by record companies if songs purchased in iTunes and downloaded to an iPod were then copied onto another computer.
“We went to great pains to make sure that people couldn’t hack into our digital rights management system because if they could, we would get nasty e-mails from the labels threatening us that they were going to yank the license,” Jobs said.
He said that “lots of hackers” were trying to break into the system, and as a result, Apple had to be constantly “revving the iTunes and iPod software, closing any holes that might be in it, or any problems it might have.”
If these changes meant that competitors became locked out, then they were just “collateral damage,” he said.
Plaintiffs in the class-action suit said that the repeat changes prevented other online music stores — and potentially less expensive ones at that — from adapting their own systems fast enough for their music to be used on the iPod.
This, they said, meant iPod owners had to buy via iTunes.
Apple has remained a powerful player in online music, but in 2009 dropped its “digital rights management” that limited how users could copy or transfer songs.
HEAVY INVESTMENT: Moody’s affirmed the firm’s ‘Aa3’ rating with a ‘stable’ outlook due to its leading position in the industry and ability to match customer requirements Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) revenue this year is expected to increase about 21 percent to NT$1.29 trillion (US$44.01 billion) from NT$1.07 trillion last year, driven by strong demand for advanced 5-nanometer and 7-nanometer chips mainly used in smartphones and high-performance computing devices, a Moody’s Investors Service report on Wednesday said. TSMC’s rate of revenue growth next year is to increase to 7.5 percent, the ratings agency said. The company, which supplies 5-nanometer chips for Apple Inc’s new iPad series, has introduced the advanced chips ahead of its competitors and gained a significant share of the market for the foundry industry’s
Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控) yesterday said that its insurance unit would adjust its investment portfolio after being banned from buying new stocks a day earlier by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC). “We will research what we can do based on the commission’s specific instructions after we receive the regulator’s formal documents,” Shin Kong Financial spokesman Sunny Hsu (徐順鋆) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The commission on Tuesday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$941,722) for reckless investment, and demanded that the insurer reduce its overseas investment ratio from 43 percent to 39 percent. The fine would affect
Taipei Times: When do you think the hospitality industry can return to how it was before the COVID-19 pandemic? How does Formosa International Hotels Group (FIH, 晶華酒店集團) fare this quarter and beyond? FIH chairman Steve Pan (潘思亮): The virus outbreak will have a serious impact on business travel, driven mainly by meetings, incentive travel, conferences and exhibitions over the past three decades. For the past six months, many businesspeople have grown used to exchanging information on the Internet, where more people can participate. The trend might sustain for three to five years until people are vaccinated and it is safe to
EQUITIES TAIEX moves sharply higher The TAIEX moved sharply higher yesterday as buying focused on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) after a strong showing by its American Depositary Receipts overnight. However, the gains were capped after the benchmark index breached 13,000 points and ran into technical hurdles, prompting investors to turn cautious, dealers said. At the end of the session, the TAIEX was up 131.11 points, or 1.02 percent, at 12,976.76. Turnover was NT$206.328 billion (US$7.04 billion), with foreign institutional investors buying a net NT$18.47 billion in shares, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed. TSMC rose 2.92 percent to close at NT$458.