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by Kristin Hammer Apple s Media Monopoly The Ethics of iTunes and iPods French Lawmakers Get Involved in the Digital Music Dispute o n March 21 2006 the French government voted 296 to 193 in favor of a law that would force Apple to open up its digital music format If the law is instated the exclusive iTunes iPod compatibility will cease to exist Any mp3 player will be able to play songs downloaded off of iTunes and iPods will be able to play music off of any online music retailer France s ruling will have a far reaching influence It s the first step in dissolving the Apple monopoly worldwide The overarching issue is Apple s dominance in the digital music market The following analysis is meant to motivate readers to consider the ethics of Apple s monopoly in a rapidly growing online retail industry Apple s exclusivity between iTunes and iPods is preventing competitors from achieving an equal level of success Apple s dominance in the digital music retail market is unfair and the company should open up its format to other retailers In 2001 Microsoft was faced with the same dilemma It unfairly dominated the software market and refused to change its policies before being struck down by the U S Supreme Court in an anti trust case Apple needs to take action before a similar lawsuit in its home country The decision would give struggling music retailers a chance to expand and encourage legal downloading It is ethically the right thing to do Additionally the decision to open up music formatting is positive for Apple and its stakeholders Opening up the format would increase the sales of iPods and the number of sales on iTunes Both Apple and its competitors would benefit To fully understand why Apple must make this ethical decision I will examine the Microsoft anti trust case as well as the social and financial benefits of opening up the iTunes iPod format I will then consider how each stakeholder is affected by Apple s dilemma Lastly I will recommend an ethical course of



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