Apple Back in the Dock (again)

Poor old Apple (well sort of) they just don’t seem to be able to keep a positive news spin for more than 12 hours. Long before the dust settled on Apple’s moment in the sun with EMI, the EU announce that they are launching a price fixing probe into Apple. Coincidence of timing or did some one at the EU want to pour water on Apple’s bonfire?

Once again Apple are finding themselves criticized because of something that the record labels imposed on them. These particular complaints revolve around the fact that you cannot buy across borders from different European iTunes stores, which is particularly significant in Rip Off Britain (TM) where tracks cost more than the rest of Europe. Despite the fact that per capita GDP is actually higher in many European countries. (And for the record per capita GDP is also higher in the US, yet music prices, digital and physical, are higher there).

As the recent action against CD-WOW illustrates, the music industry carefully carves out territorial boundaries for selling music and does what it can to protect those boundaries. Apple only being able to sell to customers in country of billing address is part of that process. If the EU want to change that they should also be knocking at the doors of the record labels, but they should also be knocking at the doors of car manufacturers and numerous other industries.