Asst. AG Barnett Makes Headlines at Law Review Symposium

Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Thomas Barnett announced yesterday at the George Mason Law Review Antitrust Symposium that he backed a laissez-faire approach to Apple Computer's wildly successful iTunes and iPod. 

Barnett was the keynote speaker at the Law Review's tenth annual antitrust symposium entitled "Managing Antitrust Issues in a Global Marketplace."  The sold-out program featured industry experts and leading antitrust enforcement officials from the U.S. and around the world. 

Barnett's comments made headlines in mainstream media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal and Reuters. 

Text of Barnett Speech

Apple gets vote of confidence for iTunes from antitrust chief, Wall Street Journal, September 14, 2006

"The Justice Department's antitrust chief made a case for taking a hands-off approach to Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes and iPod, which dominate the online-music business.

"He was also critical of governments and regulators that are trying to force Apple to make the iPod player and the iTunes music service compatible with rival products. In June, French lawmakers approved legislation aimed at requiring Apple to make its digital music and iPod interoperable with other products. Elsewhere in Europe, regulators have threatened fines to enforce interoperability.

"'Apple provides a useful illustration of how an attack on intellectual-property rights can threaten dynamic innovation,' said Thomas O. Barnett in a speech at the George Mason University School of Law Symposium.  He also said he isn't investigating Apple's activities."