The New York Times is reporting that the Justice Department is taking a look at Apple's conduct in the digital music space:

people briefed on the inquiries also said investigators had asked in particular about recent allegations that Apple used its dominant market position to persuade music labels to refuse to give the online retailer exclusive access to music about to be released.

This goes back to a story in March about Amazon asking for 24hrs of exclusivity on certain new music tracks in exchange for prominently featuring those tracks on Amazon MP3. Apple reportedly asked labels not to give Amazon that exclusivity, and withdrew their own marketing support for those who made the deal with Amazon.

This is also comes on the heels of rumored DoJ/FTC questions about Apple's banning of cross-compilers in the iPhone OS 4 SDK.

Whether or not these investigations become serious, they do show the government has increased interest in Apple and their businesses.

Question of the night goes to Seth from 9to5Mac:

Perhaps while they are at it, the DoJ should look into at why four companies, that are often in cahoots, control 95% of the music production in the US?

We'd add the carriers and cable companies to that list.

[New York Times, 9to5Mac]