Apple intended to block third parties from iPods and iTunes

A former iTunes engineer, Rod Schultz, has testified that Apple intended to block third-party music players and songs from accessing iTunes and iPods, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The original plaintiffs in the case argued the project, code-named "Candy", was Apple's attempt to undermine rivals to iTunes and iPods, and to drive up iPod prices. They argued that Apple's actions were anti-competitive and sought $350 million in damages, which could be tripled under the law.

Last week, the lawsuit was close to dismissal due to the lack of plaintiffs, however, lawyers involved in the case found an eligible person to represent the class action suit at the 11th hour, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Apple and Schultz both denied their actions were anti-competitive and said the measures that Schultz worked on were to protect Apple's systems and user experiences, which could have been compromised by third-party music players and file formats.

Schultz said he was an unwilling witness after being subpoenaed to the case, and that he didn't want to talk about his work on iTunes; Schultz left Apple in 2008.

Schultz said the measures reflected the digital music landscape at a time where music labels demanded Apple use DRM on songs, while also forcing Apple to keep the iPod secured. However, he did admit the measures did lead to market dominance for the iPod.

Schultz was the final witness in the case, which has been ongoing for ten years. The case is expected to be sent to the jury for deliberations early next week.

Source: The Wall Street Journal via MacRumors | Image: Brian Turner / Flickr

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