EU Claims Apple, Record Companies Restrict Music Sales
April 3, 2007 at 5:46 AM (PT)
BLOOMBERG reports that EUROPEAN UNION regulators have accused APPLE INC. and several record companies of limiting consumers' choices by forcing them to buy music from the ITUNES online store in their country of residence.
The distribution agreements between APPLE and "major record companies" are restrictive and break EU law, the BRUSSELS-based EUROPEAN COMMISSION alleges. APPLE's ITUNES checks which country consumers live in through their credit card details, it said.
"The very fact that you are unable to buy the same tune for the same price or you are unable in some cases to buy the same tune at all is a problem for us," EC spokesman JONATHAN TODD told reporters today. "This is an arrangement that is imposed on APPLE by the major record companies."
APPLE and the unidentified record companies have two months to reply in writing to the commission's formal objections. The companies can also ask the commission, the 27-nation EU's antitrust regulator, for a hearing.