The Justice Department has filed a "friend of the court" brief disputing a suit from the music retail industry, which alleges Sony Music Entertainment is forcing brick-and-mortar retailers to send their customers to online stores. The DOJ said in its amicus brief that the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) lacks adequate support to claims that the record label violated the federal antitrust laws.
The NARM said that Sony Music and its parent company are undermining retailers by placing hyperlinks and promotions from e-commerce sites on CDs by the label's artists. The group filed its suit last year in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, adding a legal element to its ongoing battle to keep customers in stores despite online music efforts from major labels. The NARM and Sony have until Nov. 30 to respond to the DOJ's brief.