“A complaint that Apple’s music download service is “ripping off” UK customers was referred to the European Commission today. The consumer body “Which?” wrote to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in September, asking it to investigate why prices for using the iTunes service are 20% higher in the UK than in France and Germany. The OFT, the competition watchdog in the UK, has now asked the European Commission to look into the matter,” The Evening Standard reports.
“Phil Evans, principal policy adviser at “Which?,” formerly the Consumers’ Association, said: ‘UK consumers are getting a raw deal from Apple.’ It costs UK music fans 79p (120 euro cents) to download one track, yet in France and Germany the price is just 99 euro cents (68p),” The Evening Standard reports.
“The OFT said in a statement: ”Which?’ complained to the OFT under the Competition Act 1998 that Apple’s iTunes service discriminated on price according to the user’s country of residence and that UK users were unable to benefit from cheaper prices charged on other European iTunes sites, as access to sites serving other countries was barred to non-residents. The OFT has decided that the European Commission is better placed to consider this matter, in particular as Apple iTunes operates in more than three EC member states.’ No one from Apple was initially available to comment,” The Evening Standard reports.
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UK’s Office of Fair Trading investigates Apple’s iTunes for ‘anti-competitive practices’ – September 15, 2004