FTC to Probe Beats Music as Apple Struggles to Secure Licensing Deals

Apple hit a snag this week regarding its plans to relaunch Beats Music, rumored to be targeted for June. The US Federal Trade Commission announced Wednesday it is launching an antitrust investigation into Beats, citing Apple’s history as the world’s largest seller of downloaded songs. The company hasn’t been charged with anything yet, but it couldn’t come at a worse time as the company is still trying to ink deals with artists to feature their music at the relaunch. Insiders say that Apple’s track record for monetizing digital music delivery will give them a leg up in securing licensing deals, but the newly started antitrust probe could give artists and labels a reason to hold out.

While Apple has not confirmed it, many tech insiders expect the company to relaunch Beats at the upcoming Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, scheduled to take place in San Francisco from June 8 to June 12. The company introduced Beats co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine as new employees at last year’s event. Of course, some insiders don’t believe that the Beats relaunch will occur that soon, and Apple’s recent troubles could cause that sentiment to grow. Apple has declined several requests for comment on this story.