European Commission Muscles Apple Into Reducing Prices On UK Version Of iTunes
The European Commission announced a settlement of sorts with Apple regarding an investigation into Apple’s “overcharging” of iTunes customers in the UK. As a result, music fans in the UK will pay about 10% less for downloads from Apple’s iTunes stores within six months.
The European Union’s top antitrust watchdog said the move would bring to a close its proceedings against Apple, “the Commission is very much in favor of solutions which allow consumers to benefit from a truly single market for music downloads,” EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement.
Apple’s iTunes customers can buy music in the EU only from the part of the store directed to their country of residence and that contains music cleared for sale in that country. Residence is checked through credit card details. For example, a consumer in the United Kingdom must use a credit card from a bank with an address in Britain. “Prices for iTunes downloads in the U.K. are currently nearly 10 percent more expensive than downloads in the Eurozone…now U.K. consumers will soon pay the same for music downloads from iTunes as customers from Eurozone countries,” the Commission said.
Antitrust proceedings have also clarified that it is not agreements between Apple and the major record companies that determine how the iTunes Store is organized in Europe, the Commission said.