I see the European Commission has sent a Statement of Objections to Apple and the Major record labels in relation to agreements between each record company and Apple that the Commission believes restricts music sales in the EU. At issue is the fact that consumers can only buy music from the iTunes’ on-line store in their country of residence. This means that for example it is more expensive to buy tracks in the UK than the rest of Europe.
Apple really is the innocent party in this (well relatively at least) and the record companies are doing what they do normally – this is why UK music lovers will often buy CDs from the US and other countries as they work out cheaper even once the post and packaging has been added. Now whilst in the Physical realm (and let’s not pretend that manufacturers of everything from TVs, Cars, Jeans etc don’t pull this price trick anywhere they can) it could be argued that it is cheaper to make CDs etc in some regions as opposed to others and justify the charge that way, it is harder to make that argument in the digital realm. If I am downloading a copy of EXACTLY the same track – the cost of it cannot have been different to produce, so the justification must just be a making money off the consumer one.
Will the Commission action have any results? Who knows.