Apple investigation launched

Is iTunes breaching competition laws?

An investigation into Apple has been launched by the EU to determine if its iTunes music shop has broken competition laws.

Specifically this is due to the fact UK music fans pay more per track than elsewhere in Europe, and do not have the choice to buy from the European site.

Research by ’Which?’ magazine in 2005 found that UK users paid 79p (1.16 Euros) to download a song compared with 66p (99 Euro cents) in France and Germany.

Jonathan Todd, an EU spokesperson, said: “This means that consumers cannot buy the tunes that they want to, or at the price they want to, because there is differentiation in the price paid in the Euro zone and non-Euro countries.”

Apple argued that it had always wanted to offer a fully pan-European service, but was restricted by the demands of music partners.

In a statement, they said: “We were advised by the music labels and publishers that there were certain legal limits to the rights they could grant us.”

The EU has written to iTunes and a number of unnamed record companies to notify them of their objections to the way music is sold. The companies have two months to respond to the charges, reports BBC 6 Music.