Wednesday, January 9, 2008
The European Commission has forced Apple Inc. to lower its prices for media in its United Kingdom iTunes store, Apple’s online media shop. The change in policy will occur within the next six months, Apple announced this morning.
Apple is the producer of the world’s most-sold MP3 Player, the iPod and launched the iTunes Music Store, a online music store, on April 28, 2003. The store was renamed to iTunes Store in 2006, as Apple began selling other media apart from music, such as feature-length movies. Since its launch the store has sold more than 3 billion songs. At the moment songs are sold for £0.79 per song and £7.99 per album which after the price cut will on average be reduced to £0.74 and £7.48 to match the EU prices of €0.99 and €9.99, according to Times Online.
The price decrease follows an investigation by the European Commission due to Apple charging customers in the UK up to 10% more than in other EU countries. According to The Register, Apple will be demanding that the record labels lower their prices in the UK in respect to this forced price cut.
The European Commission welcomed Apple’s announcement and in a reaction to the news European Commissioner for Competition Neelie Kroes said “the Commission is very much in favour of solutions which allow consumers to benefit from a truly Single Market for music downloads.”