The European Commission has issued a brief statement, welcoming Apple’s move to bring UK iTunes prices into line with those made available in other European states.
Europe’s competition commissioner Neelie Kroes said: "The Commission is very much in favour of solutions which allow consumers to benefit from a truly single market for music downloads."
The Commission noted that its enquiry had found no agreement between Apple and the majors regarding how the iTunes store is organised in Europe, saying Apple’s per-territory price structure was an attempt to take into account the country-specific aspects of copyright laws.
But in what could be a warning to existing music industry territorial structures, the Commission also notes itself to be: “Very much in favour of solutions which would allow consumers to buy off the iTunes' online store without restrictions, but it is aware that some record companies, publishers and collecting societies still apply licensing practices which can make it difficult for iTunes to operate stores accessible for a European consumer anywhere in the EU.”
Apple’s move to harmonise prices ends the different treatment of UK consumers who currently have to pay higher prices for downloads. The different treatment to UK consumers was a major concern for UK consumer protection organization, Which?, who filed a formal complaint with the Commission.
The Commission does not intend to take further action in this case.