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Steve Jobs Ordered to Answer Antitrust Allegations

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Steve must be thinking, "They want me to do this now?"

Yes, as per a ruling handed down by San Jose, California's US Magistrate Judge Howard Lloyd, Steve Jobs -- while still on medical leave -- must answer antitrust allegations. Nothing new for Apple.

The class-action lawsuit is leveled specifically against Apple's control over iTunes and what can be transferred to its iPod devices. Apple, notorious for its proprietary stranglehold over its devices, is accused of ensuring that only media purchased through iTunes be accessible on the iPod -- even going as far as denying RealNetworks breach of the "Walled Garden" by patching that hole a week later.

Considering Apple's massive market share in media players, the courts and customers alike prefer a more open MP3 player and definitely more leniency from Cupertino. The lawyers for the plaintiffs hope to uncover some information from Jobs regarding this possible digital music monopoly.

But questioning a CEO over such matters is a tad unusual. With Apple, however, Steve Jobs "has unique, non-repetitive, firsthand knowledge," according to Lloyd, and would like have been involved with the daily operations mentioned in the case.

And if he can jump on stage to promote the iPad 2, the court figures he could chat for two hours.

Hopefully, during the time of questioning, they can squeeze in a few about Apple's insistence on suing third party with a lower-case-i-prefix.

(See also: The Mythology of Apple)

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