BIG MUSIC companies including Sony, Warner and EMI have failed in a bid to halt a civil antitrust lawsuit that accused them of price-fixing.
The US Supreme Court will not review an appeals court ruling that a federal judge made a mistake in 2008 by dismissing a lawsuit filed by a number of music downloaders, according to Reuters. They were trying to sue some of the music industry's biggest recording labels that control the majority of US digital music sales.
These included the 'big four' music labels - Sony, Warner Music, EMI, and a unit of Vivendi SA, the company behind Universal Music Group. They were accused of making an agreement with each other to make sure that prices wouldn't be any lower than 70 cents a tune, even though some of their rivals were selling tracks for much less.
The complaint also alleged that two services the companies started in 2001, Musicnet and Pressplay, charged unreasonable rates. The companies were also accused of imposing unwarranted restrictions, such as barring people from transferring songs to Ipods.
According to the appeals court, there was enough evidence to suggest that a music price-fixing conspiracy existed, and the case will now be sent back to a judge for trial. µ
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