Firstly, we have the news last week that Apple have been actively poaching BBC Radio 1 staff for its new streaming service (which, by the way, will not be called "Beats Music"), and now we have this news: Apple have allegedly been pushing major labels to force Spotify to abandon its free streaming tier, something that would greatly reduce competition for Apple's upcoming foray into the world of streaming.

Spotify has 60 million listeners; with only 15 million of those being premium, paying subscribers, it'd make Apple's dominance in streaming easier to attain with 45 million essentially "floating" subscribers looking for a new service to join. But The Verge reports that the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission are looking closely into their practices when it comes to shaking down the competition.

There are also indications that Apple have approached YouTube, offering to pay its licensing fee to Universal Music Group in return for blocking the label from putting content on YouTube. The Google-owned site have their own streaming service currently in beta, Music Key, so I can't imagine they were too happy with Apple's request.

It's thought that Apple are trying to clear a path before its streaming service launches, supposedly set for the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Aside from the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, apparently the European Union's Competition Commission is also scrutinising Apple's business dealings; namely, finding out if they're working with labels to clear the board of so-called "freemium" services.

One music industry source has said: "All the way up to Tim Cook, these guys are cutthroat."