Original story from Wall Street Journal (subscription), link to Yahoo news (non-subscription)
US authorities have begun an investigation into potential antitrust violations in the Internet music download industry, the Justice Department says.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier the agency had begun a probe into possible collusion in the ways the four global music companies set prices for online music.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the Journal says civil investigative demands, similar to subpoenas, had been sent on Monday to the major music companies including Universal Music, Sony BMG, EMI Group and Warner Music Group.
The newspaper says the probe centres on the possibility of price fixing by the major labels in offering music to online music sellers.
It also says "vertical collusion" between retailers like Apple Computer's iTunes, may also be part of the probe.