The name given to the idea is “Total Music,” and it represented yet another way to market music. The concept received major play in the media, with several news outlets playing it up as a possible solution to music piracy. Although the brainchild of UMG, the label did pitch the project to its competitors, namely the three other major record companies.

Now, it appears the U.S. Justice Department is interested in Total Music. However, the JD isn’t so much interested in receiving free music as it is in possible antitrust violations.

Earlier this month the Associated Press, citing unnamed sources, reported that the Justice Department sent a letter inquiring about Total Music to UMG. What’s more, the Wall Street Journal, also citing the realm of the unamed, reported that Sony BMG had received a similar letter.

Apparently the Justice Department is concerned that record labels working together to provide total music for the Total Music concept might conspire to fix prices, or possibly commit other antitrust acts, such as limit or shut out competition. According to the WSJ, the Justice Department sent Sony BMG an inquiry because the label had “expressed the strongest interest in the project.”

That Justice is interested in Total Music shouldn’t come as any surprise. By their nature, the labels are limited to what they can do as allies, and any effort to create or promote a product where all might benefit could be seen as anti-competitive.

Like when the labels got behind the first two online systems for delivering major label music – Musicnet and Pressplay. In that case, Justice spent two years investigating the matter before concluding that no antitrust rules & regs were violated.