Consumer group to sue Apple iTunes for ‘unfair barriers’

Norwegians want to make iTunes music accessible on other devices

A Norwegian consumer group has announced its intention to sue Apple over what it alleges are ‘unfair barriers’ to playing iTunes music in a variety of MP3 players.

The independent Norwegian government body is urging other countries to follow suit and file their own cases against Apple for what it believes is an important consumer right to be able to play music purchased via Apple iTunes in other consumer devices.

“I want them to make their services interoperable so that you can play music bought on iTunes on other devices, including mobile phones,” Consumer Ombudsman Bjoern Erik Thon told Reuters.

“The consumer’s freedom of choice in the online music market is an important right,” he added.

The agency is reportedly working with consumer protection bodies in Scandinavia, Germany and France to put pressure on iTunes, and is attempting to bring other countries on board.

“It’s a consumer’s right to transfer and play digital content bought and downloaded from the Internet to the music device he himself chooses to use,” Thon said. “iTunes makes this impossible or at least difficult, and hence, they act in breach of Norwegian law.”

iTunes has until November 3 to respond before the case goes to the Market Council, Thon said.

–By our Los Angeles staff.

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