Investigation to see UK users are getting a fair deal…

APPLE are being investigated by the EUROPEAN COMMISSION over claims they are ripping off UK customers.

The row stems from the fact that British users of iTunes are paying up to 20% more than those in France and Germany.

In the UK, a track costs 79p whereas the continental sites charge 99 cents (68p).

According to BBC News, the Office Of Fair Trading have referred the matter to the European Commission after complaints from consumer group Which? that UK customers are locked out of the French and German iTunes sites, where tracks are cheaper.

Which? believe that this breaches European competition law.

“The online music market is a huge growth area; the Single Market should work the same in this market as others,” said principal policy adviser Phil Evans “We’re campaigning for free movement of goods and services in Europe and we’ll take on any company, or group of companies, that seek to carve up the market to their benefit.”

While there has been no immediate comment from iTunes, back in September they defended the price differential, saying “the underlying economic model in each country has an impact on how we price our downloads.”

They added: “That’s not unusual – look at the price of CDs in the US versus the UK. We believe the real comparison to be made is with the price of other track downloads in the UK.”