Apple has said it will reduce the cost of iTunes song downloads in the UK following an EU antitrust investigation.
The long overdue move will see track prices fall from 79p to 67p within the next six months. UK consumers had previously been paying around 10% more than the rest of the EU.
The probe was the result of complaints from the consumer group Which? about Apple’s pricing policies. The issue was referred to the EU three years ago.
Apple had defended itself by blaming record labels’ charging policies, as well as the UK’s tax system.
But it was threatened with a fine of 10% of its global turnover for breaking EC Treaty rules on restrictive practices.
Responding to the decision, Steve Jobs laid down a challenge to UK record labels:
“Apple will reconsider its continuing relationship in the UK with any record label that does not lower its wholesale prices in the UK to the pan-European level within six months.”
While this is a welcome move, there still remains a difference between prices in the US and UK. In the States, downloads cost just 99 cents (50p).