Apple to standardize iTunes music prices across Europe

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple said Wednesday that within six months it will lower the prices it charges for music on its UK iTunes Store to match the already standardized pricing on its other European iTunes Stores.



The move will see British iTunes customers charged the same rates for digital music downloads as those customers located in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and Spain.



As a result of its concessions, Apple said it will be forced to pay some record labels more to distribute their music in the UK than it pays them to distribute the same music elsewhere in Europe.



“This is an important step towards a pan-European marketplace for music,” said Apple chief executive Steve Jobs. “We hope every major record label will take a pan-European view of pricing.”



Back in April, the European Commission formally charged Apple and the four major record labels with anti-competitive practices in the deals that form the backbone of European iTunes stores.



Specifically, the commission argued that shoppers are often forced to buy only from their home store, preventing them from earning the best rate. This is particularly the case for British shoppers, the regulators explained, as the 79p song downloads were the most expensive across the European region.



The commission welcomed Apple's announcement Wednesday to equalise prices, saying it now considers the case closed and no further action will be taken.



"The Commission is very much in favour of solutions which allow consumers to benefit from a truly Single Market for music downloads," said European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes.



In a statement, the commission added that its has been able to clarify that there is no agreement between Apple and the major record companies regarding how the iTunes store is organised in Europe. Rather, the structure of the iTunes store is chosen by Apple to take into account the country-specific aspects of copyright laws.



"The Commission is very much in favour of solutions which would allow consumers to buy off the iTunes' online store without restrictions," the the statement said, "but it is aware that some record companies, publishers and collecting societies still apply licensing practices which can make it difficult for iTunes to operate stores accessible for a European consumer anywhere in the EU."



In its own statement, Apple said it would reconsider its relationship in the UK with any record label that does not lower its wholesale prices in the UK to the pan-European level within six months.
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Comments

  • messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    Yeah, you got caught fleecing your UK customers. At least Dick Turpin wore a mask!



    So how's about a refund or an iTunes credit for the stuff we've already bought?



    On a more positive note, this has to be the first time I've felt as though there was any benefit for Scotland being in the EU...
  • heffequeheffeque Posts: 139member
    Apple also sells in Portugal too now.
  • monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,026member
    As someone who once owned a record label in the UK, and knowing how damned expensive it is to live here, I would be pretty pissed off with apple if they said this to me..

    "In its own statement, Apple said it would reconsider its relationship in the UK with any record label that does not lower its wholesale prices in the UK to the pan-European level within six months."



    I personally wish the UK never joined the EU in the first place, but thats another subject
  • t'hain esh kelcht'hain esh kelch Posts: 1,274member
    Hopefully this won't turn out, so that everyone pays GB's prices..
  • mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,649member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The commission welcomed Apple's announcement Wednesday to equalise prices, saying it now considers the case closed and no further action will be taken.



    If this is also the end of their investigations into the record labels' practices, then this is very disappointing.



    The problem wasn't just with price (and actually, with the recent strengthening of the Euro, the price disparity isn't that great any more - just a few pence), but the fact that there is no pan-european iTunes store (or any other download store). Europe is meant to be a single market, but with the music business it clearly is not.
  • heffequeheffeque Posts: 139member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post


    I personally wish the UK never joined the EU in the first place, but thats another subject



    Do you even know what the EU was created for? People seems to forget their history lessons too fast.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    Europe is meant to be a single market, but with the music business it clearly is not.



    Sadly the music industry seems to be above the law all over the world :-/
  • strawberrystrawberry Posts: 178member
    So how much less than £0.79 would a track be?
  • digitalclipsdigitalclips Posts: 15,028member
    Again here is a case where Apple was and still is seen as the culprit and in fact wasn't. Apple is eating the difference now for a while and if the labels don't lower the price in the UK what else can Apple do but drop them? If they don't want to be on iTunes they are free to go elsewhere.
  • monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,026member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by heffeque View Post


    Do you even know what the EU was created for? People seems to forget their history lessons too fast.



    I'm convinced they created it to get get on my nerves, but I could be wrong.
  • teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Maybe this will help sell more iPhones in UK.
  • monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,026member
    Hang on, I know, they created it so that we could eat strait bananas?
  • heffequeheffeque Posts: 139member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post


    I'm convinced they created it to get get on my nerves, but I could be wrong.



    So Hitler must have been such a unimportant thing for you then... your grandad probably didn't care about it either I suppose.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post


    Hang on, I know, they created it so that we could eat strait bananas?



    What are you? Five?
  • digitalclipsdigitalclips Posts: 15,028member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Messiah View Post


    Yeah, you got caught fleecing your UK customers. At least Dick Turpin wore a mask!



    So how's about a refund or an iTunes credit for the stuff we've already bought?




    I'd hope the companies that demanded Apple charged these higher prices in UK, who now have six months to lower them or leave iTunes, will offer a rebate via Apple. I hardly see it as being Apple's problem. Apple is funding the lower rates for six months. That is Apple already helping to address the problem financially and in a huge way.
  • mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,649member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Strawberry View Post


    So how much less than £0.79 would a track be?



    At the latest exchange rate, a massive 5p!
  • doemeldoemel Posts: 75member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post


    As someone who once owned a record label in the UK, and knowing how damned expensive it is to live here, I would be pretty pissed off with apple if they said this to me..



    You think the UK is the only expensive place in Europe? You've probably not even looked beyond your own backyard.
  • elijahgelijahg Posts: 397member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by heffeque View Post


    So Hitler must have been such a unimportant thing for you then... your grandad probably didn't care about it either I suppose.





    What are you? Five?



    Coming from someone who lives in Spain, you have nothing to complain about being in the EU. Your country receives billions of euros from the EU, why should you complain? Great Britain gives billions to the EU and receives nothing... Apart from immigrants.



    Anyway. Having similar pricing to the rest of Europe is ok, but as Apple have said, they are making less profit because the labels charge much more in the UK... The EU needs to make the labels have pan-euro pricing, but as usual they only look at the surface of the problem.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by doemel View Post


    You think the UK is the only expensive place in Europe? You've probably not even looked beyond your own backyard.



    England is the MOST expensive place in Europe. BBC News
  • heffequeheffeque Posts: 139member
    I'm living in Slovenia now, but my nationality is from the US :-) Spain is receiving a lot of inmigrants too and has its own problems too. Stop staring at your belly bottom.
  • elijahgelijahg Posts: 397member
    Spain is many times the size of GB, and receives less immigrants.
  • bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,719member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by heffeque View Post


    So Hitler must have been such a unimportant thing for you then... your grandad probably didn't care about it either I suppose.




    So the EU was created to stop the rise of Hitler-like leaders within its borders?



    It had nothing to do with economics?

    Or consolidating a global political presence?



    You can argue that the EU was an important step and a universal good, but to assume that the only people who would debate the decision are idiots or fascists is kinda lame.
  • monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,026member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by heffeque View Post


    So Hitler must have been such a unimportant thing for you then... your grandad probably didn't care about it either I suppose.



    You need to move on, Hitler was so yesterdays news.



    The modern EU would seem to be obsessed by centralized control of it's member states, and this is what I oppose. And although this utopia sounds initially a great concept, i do not want to be controlled with 'yesterdays' social, political, and economic policies, give me a call when europe steps out of the 70's.





    PS: I do not include all of EU in my scathing generalizations, just most of it.
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