As predicted, Apple’s market capitalization passed Microsoft at the end of trading today, and it is now the second largest in the US market cap list just behind Exxon. With a capitalization of over $222 billion USD, Apple has quickly exceeded Microsoft’s $219.53 billion, in part due to losses from Microsoft.

Apple HQ

Great news for Apple, even amongst new reports that they might be facing more investigation into antitrust practices, this time involving the iTunes music store. Apple had allegedly been halting marketing support after labels made exclusivity deals for Amazon’s “Daily Deal” specials.

According to marketing data released from NPD today, Apple’s iTunes store currently maintains a 70% digital download market share for US music sales. Compared to Amazon’s MP3 service at 12% of the market, those numbers help explain why Apple might be getting investigated. With being a large part of the market, Apple does have a lot more sway in relationships with other businesses. The other antitrust investigation they may be facing is regarding App store developer policy changes as reported in early May. The new policy blocks out cross compilers from being used for iPhone App development, like ones made by Adobe.

Apparently Adobe themselves might have had a part in sparking that inquiry. Because of the way antitrust inquiries work, nobody really knows what will come of these. Apple has always said that they operate the iTunes stores just above breaking even. They don’t lose money, but they don’t gain much. Their idea has always been to provide the store as a way to sell more Apple hardware, and if today’s market capitalization is any indication, it is certainly working. With WWDC two weeks away, Apple is looking to make another big product story out of the next iPhone. It has even now been confirmed by AT&T sources that the they will be launching the new iPhone in June.

Photo: Wikipedia