EC launches iTunes pricing investigation

The European commission is starting an investigation into the pricing of Apple Computer's iTunes digital music service, after consumers complained that downloading tracks was more expensive in the UK than other parts of Europe. Officials are investigating whether price differentials between the UK and France and Germany of up to 20% are unjust and amount to a breach of EU pricing regulations.

The inquiry comes after Which? - formerly the Consumers Association - wrote to the Office of Fair Trading last September, asking it to look into iTunes' pan-European pricing. In the UK iTunes charges users around 120 euro cents per track against the 99 cents it charges French and German users. The OFT later referred the case to the EC, which today said it would begin an investigation.

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