Those who have been critical of Apple in the past for "muscling" its way to the objectives it seeks will likely gain more ammunition for their arguments once they hear the latest power play from Cupertino.
Apple, it turns out, is after more than just Amazon's stronghold of e-book readers. Steve Jobs and company are looking to shore up Apple's strength in the world of digital music. And Apple is apparently prepared to "punish" music labels that have snuggled up to Amazon and continue to participate in their "MP3 Daily Deal." In accordance with the deals in place, many record labels give Amazon first dibs on new music before it reaches other retailers or is sold anywhere else online. In exchange for the exclusive sales opportunity, Amazon pushes the content at the top of their music download page. And given Amazon's massive reach, that's a huge PR opportunity for the labels and artists who secure that prime digital real estate.
According to coverage from the New York Times today:
Sources say that iTunes representatives have been urging labels to rethink their participation in the Amazon promotion and that they have backed up those warnings by withdrawing marketing support for certain releases featured as Daily Deals.