EU to investigate download pricing in Europe

April 2005

Record Labels, Internet

The European commission is to begin an investigation into the pricing of Apple Computer’s digital music service after consumers complained that downloading tracks was more expensive in the UK than other parts of Europe. Officials are investigating whether price differentials on iTunes between the UK and other countries such as France and Germany of up to 20% amount to a breach of EU pricing regulations. The inquiry comes after Which? (formerly the Consumers’ Association) wrote to the Office of Fair Trading last September, asking it to look into iTunes’ pricing across Europe. In the UK, iTunes charges users around 1.20 (83p) a track against 99 cents in France and Germany. The OFT later referred the case to the commission, which yesterday said it would begin an investigation.

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