Apple announced today that it will lower the prices on its UK iTunes store to match the pricing across the rest of Europe, pre-empting any regulatory action by the European Commission.
Ya see, the European Commission released a Statement of Objections in April 2007, saying that the UK iTunes store might be in breach of EU competition rules, the first step in formal antitrust proceedings.
The new price structure will kick in over the next six months and align UK iTunes with stores in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and Spain.
However, since some distribution costs are higher in the U.K., Apple says it will reconsider relationships with labels that don’t also lower wholesale prices within six months.
"This is an important step towards a pan-European marketplace for music," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a statement. "We hope every major record label will take a pan-European view of pricing."
Billbaord.com: Apple Standardizes European Download Prices