Apple will launch movie and TV download services in Europe this spring, according to a Luxembourg statesman.

Luxembourg's economy minister Jeannot Krecke made the claim in local media yesterday: "Apple is going to extend its electronic retail activities in Luxembourg by launching this coming spring its iTunes video platform for the sale of videos in Europe," he said.

He claimed Apple to have been in discussion with local authorities in Luxembourg over setting the service up for "several months". The company will offer "full-length television show downloads", he said.

Apple already runs its iTunes Store from Luxembourg in order to take advantage of the country's low 15 per cent VAT rate.

Amazon and other international firms have also opened up for business in the country in order to exploit the low tax there.

Apple launched its movie and TV download services through iTunes in October 2005 in the US. Since then the European landscape has changed, with Windows media-based TV download services appearing here – for example, the services offered by Channel 4 in the UK.