Apple is likely to point its finger at the wholesale licensing costs it pays to music copyright owners in its defence against recent accusations that it overcharges UK music buyers.

Digital Music News reports Apple to be readying its defence to prove it's not deliberately manipulating prices, with data on "licensing wholesale costs", the report says.

While the European Union's market framework demands a harmonious policy - in order that consumers across the territory can enjoy parity in terms of cost of goods - the structure of the music industry remains, for the most part, territorial.

Euro-music dissonance raises clamour

The report calls this a, "highly fragmented licensing patchwork across Europe". "It's quite possible Apple has little control over price differences between countries", the music business analysis company's report speculates.

Industry observers note that this patchwork of rights, differences in rights ownership, and lack of a harmonious trans-European wholesale price agreement is what delayed Apple - and other operators - in attempting to launch digital music distribution services in the UK.