“This morning one of Europe’s highest courts handed Microsoft a stinging defeat in its hard-fought antitrust case, dismissing nearly all of the company’s appeal of a landmark 2004 decision by the EU and upholding $689.7 million in fines,” Peter Lattman blogs for The Wall Street Journal.
“The next dominator in the sights of European antitrust authorities? Apple’s iTunes. Beginning Wednesday, the EC will hold antitrust hearings into the music-pricing structure for Apple’s online store. In April, the commission accused Apple and four major record companies of unfair practices. The accusation centered around European consumers being charged differing amounts for iTunes songs depending on the country in which they buy them, in violation of EU antitrust laws. If the regulator finds evidence of an antitrust violation, it can fine the companies up to 10% of their annual global revenue,” Lattman reports.
“So why does the iTunes store charge some Europeans more than others to download a song? In an April WSJ story, Apple blamed the music companies. ‘Apple has always wanted to operate a single pan-European iTunes Store accessible by anyone from any member state,’ said an Apple spokesman. ‘We don’t think Apple did anything to violate EU law,'” Lattman reports. “An EU spokesman also blamed the record labels, two of which are owned by European companies, for this situation. He told the WSJ in April that regulators considered Apple to be more a victim than a culprit. ‘This is an arrangement imposed on Apple by the record companies,’ the spokesman said. ‘The main focus of our attention is the major record companies.'”
Full article here.
As stated above, the problem is the music cartels, not Apple.