Well, that's modern capitalist ethics for you!
The world's five largest music companies and the three largest music retailers will pay $143.1 million to settle a CD price-fixing case launched by New York and Florida two years ago, New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said on Monday.
In August 2000, most U.S. states joined in a lawsuit alleging that an industry practice called "minimum advertised pricing" (MAP) artificially inflated the price of CDs between 1995 and 2000, violating federal and state antitrust laws.
Under MAP, the labels subsidized advertising for retailers that agreed not to sell CDs below a certain price.
The five record labels -- Vivendi Universal's Universal Music Group, Sony Corp.'s Sony Music, Bertelsmann AG's BMG Music Group, Warner Music Group, a division of AOL Time Warner Inc. and EMI Group Plc -- and the three retailers, Musicland Stores Corp., Trans World Entertainment Corp. and Tower Records, agreed to stop using MAP policies as part of the settlement.