Recording Industry is the Culprit, EU Says

A day after revealing that it had sent a statement of objections to Apple and the four largest record companies, European Union (EU) antitrust regulators said that the recording industry was the real target of its charges. The EU has alleged that the recording industry and Apple are engaged in unfair pricing of songs sold via Apple's iTunes Store.

"This is an arrangement imposed on Apple by the record companies," an EU spokesperson said Tuesday, agreeing with comments made by Apple spokespeople a day earlier. "The main focus of our attention is the major record companies." Those companies include EMI, Warner Music, Universal Music, and Sony BMG.

The problem, according to the EU, is that consumers in Europe pay different prices for music at iTunes, and have different selections, based on which country they live in. Some consumers, unfairly, and in violation of EU treaties, pay more because of where they live. Should the EU find the companies guilty of antitrust violation, it could issue fines and order them to changes iTunes pricing to be identical across EU member countries.

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