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iTunes UK overcharging?

Peter Rojas

apple UK iTUnes

They already dodged a pretty bogus anti-trust suit in France, but now Apple's iTunes Music Store is back under the gun in the UK, with the Office of Fair Trading referring a complaint to the European Commssion that they are unfairly overcharging people there for downloads. And there is no disputing that Apple is charging Brits more than they're charging anyone else for songs. It costs 79p (or about US$1.53) to download a single from the iTunes store in Britain, which is about 11p, or $0.20, more than the €0.99/US$1.33 their neighbors in Germany and France are paying for the same music (Canadians get the best deal—they're only paying US$0.83 per download). We can totally understand why Apple has all sorts of geographic restrictions for who can buy what from where—those are restrictions usually required by the record labels, not them—but it's going to get harder and harder to justify largely artificial price differentials. All it's going to do is push people living in countries where downloads are more expensive to try and get their music through "other means", if you know what we're talking about.

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