The European Commission and the price of the iTunes Store

European consumers pay different prices for music purchased through the iTunes Store depending on their country of residence. Two years ago, a British consumer group lodged a formal complaint with the European Commission alleging that the price paid by UK residents was higher than in other countries, as well as the fact that the iTunes website does not allow users to Consumers can find a lower price on the websites of said service for other countries.

According to statements by Jonathan Todd, spokesman for the European Commission on competition issues, “Consumers can only buy music from iTunes online stores in their countries of residence, and therefore their choice options are restricted when it comes to buy music both for available options and for the stipulated price ”.

The Apple iTunes store verifies the country of residence of consumers through the details reflected on the credit card.

In the European single market, distribution agreements between record companies and Apple could lead to restrictive practices, Todd says. The Commission has declined to release the names of the companies involved.

Apple has issued a statement saying that “Apple has always wanted to operate as a single pan-European iTunes store accessible by any of the member states, although record companies and publishers have warned us that there are certain legal limits on rights assigned. We do not believe that Apple has violated European law. We will continue to work with the European Union to resolve this issue. “

British users pay a total of 0.79 pounds per song, which is $ 1.56 or 1.17 euros, while users living in the other 13 countries of the euro zone pay 0.99 euros, which it is a difference of 15.4 percent. Consumers in Denmark, who reside outside the euro zone, pay eight percent more than their neighbors.

Todd indicates that, in addition to being forced to pay more for the same songs, consumers in other countries are limited by a smaller selection of music.