The European Commission seems unlikely to prosecute Apple in order to force the company to open up it's FairPlay DRM to other companies.

Apple faces criticism in some quarters because tracks purchased from the iTunes Store will only play on iPods (though this can be circumvented).

Apple is required to apply DRM to the tracks it sells at the behest of the major labels.

Consumer rights champions from Germany, France, Finland and Norway are arguing that the DRM used effectively "locks" users into Apple's ecosystem, and have been demanding the company open up its DRM to competitors.

Top EU Commission official Philip Lowe dismissed the need for such measures yesterday, saying: "Before we jump in to regulate competition on the market it is worth asking whether competition is actually harmed."

He observed "vigorous competition" between different MP3 players and online services in Europe.

In Norway, Apple has been given until 1 October to open up its DRM, or the firm faces legal action.