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Feds looking into Apple's tactics for music: report

A customer (2nd L) discusses an Apple product with a shop assistant (C) while customers shop at an Apple store in Tokyo in this August 25, 2006 file photo. REUTERS/Kiyoshi Ota/Files

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Justice Department is examining Apple Inc’s tactics in the market for digital music and has talked to major music labels and Internet music firms, the New York Times said citing several people briefed on the conversations.

The antitrust inquiry is in the early stages, the sources told the New York Times and the conversations have revolved broadly around the dynamics of selling music online.

However, people briefed on the inquiries also told the New York Times that investigators had asked about recent allegations that Apple used its dominant market position to cajole music labels to refuse to give the online retailer Amazon.com Inc exclusive access to music soon to be released.

Representatives from Apple and Amazon could not be reached immediately for comment.

In March, Billboard magazine reported that Amazon was asking music labels to give it the exclusive right to sell certain songs for one day before they went on sale more widely, the New York Times said.

Reporting by Ilaina Jonas; Editing by Dhara Ranasinghe

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