PDA

View Full Version : Apple Lowering iTunes Prices in UK




MacRumors
Jan 9, 2008, 09:35 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

Apple announced (http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2008/01/09itunes.html) today that it would be standardizing iTunes music pricing in Europe. As a result, it will lower prices it charges for music in its UK iTunes store to match the pricing across the rest of Europe.

Apple currently charges (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7178651.stm) more for downloads in the UK due to higher wholesale prices in the UK. Apple states that it "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."

The change comes after European Union regulators had begun investigating iTunes pricing practices after complaints had been filed in 2004. The pricing move is intended to equalize the market across Europe.

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/01/09/apple-lowering-itunes-prices-in-uk/)



hollerz
Jan 9, 2008, 09:38 AM
Awesome news! :D

stekerrod
Jan 9, 2008, 09:40 AM
excellent news! i buy most music from iTunes nowadays any way so making it cheaper is great news!

letes hope this signals the end for 'Rip off Britain' not flaming likely though

(deep breath..... rant over)

r88my
Jan 9, 2008, 09:43 AM
About time! :D

naroola
Jan 9, 2008, 09:44 AM
This is really good news for the UK folks. Wonder how the record companies will react.

joefinan
Jan 9, 2008, 09:44 AM
European prices are 74p - a drop of 5p per track is not such big news methinks.

Manic Mouse
Jan 9, 2008, 09:46 AM
Are normal tracks 256Kb/sec these days? I only buy iTunes Plus, I think it's about time it all went DRM free. Then I'd buy all my music on it.

OriginalMacRat
Jan 9, 2008, 09:49 AM
This is really good news for the UK folks. Wonder how the record companies will react.

Makes you wonder why the EU didn't file the charges in the first place against the music companies instead of harassing Apple.

farrell001
Jan 9, 2008, 09:49 AM
About time! :D

Yeah, why its fair for USA an europe to have tracks at nearly half the price is beyond me. Also how a macbook is half the price in the states then it is in the UK, is just simply unfair. :confused:

NightStorm
Jan 9, 2008, 09:51 AM
Makes you wonder why the EU didn't file the charges in the first place against the music companies instead of harassing Apple.
Good point, why does Apple have to charge the same price across Europe, if the record companies do not?

peeeter
Jan 9, 2008, 09:53 AM
Just lowering UK prices is not good enough. They should allow purchasing from any EU country. At the moment some Eu countries can't use the service at all.

twoodcc
Jan 9, 2008, 09:55 AM
well, this is a step in the right direction.

tallyho
Jan 9, 2008, 09:57 AM
Yeah, why its fair for USA an europe to have tracks at nearly half the price is beyond me. :confused:
You're right to look confused. 74p is not half of 79p.

Tom B.
Jan 9, 2008, 09:58 AM
Excellent news! I suppose it means we can expect songs to cost 74p, and albums to cost 7.49? I buy a lot from iTunes, so in the long run, this could save me quite a bit.

Well done Apple, now make the Apple Store UK cheaper too!

gotohamish
Jan 9, 2008, 10:00 AM
European prices are 74p - a drop of 5p per track is not such big news methinks.

Every little helps.

naroola
Jan 9, 2008, 10:03 AM
Makes you wonder why the EU didn't file the charges in the first place against the music companies instead of harassing Apple.

I guess it's because it's easier (and faster) to go after a single company, in this case Apple, rather than trying to file charges against multiple record companies. Also, the common denominator is Apple as they set the prices of the music being sold in the UK and in Europe.

At the end, it doesn't matter... the record companies in the UK will either have to lower their prices or will have to sell their music elsewhere, such as the case with Universal.

GroundLoop
Jan 9, 2008, 10:04 AM
I am just glad that Apple decided to settle this without going through the courts.

If they had fought this tooth and nail and lost, it would have set an ugly legal precedent. Imagine, every single company that sells good/services would be forced to charge the same price across all countries without regard to differences in taxes etc.

That would lead to one of two things:
1: All countries would be forced to pay the highest prices
2: Companies would determine that many products would no longer be price competitive with "in-country" solutions and move out of the market all-together.

Either way, this is a very scary step in the wrong direction. (punishing retailers due to price differences of its' suppliers).

Hickman

rubberduck007
Jan 9, 2008, 10:04 AM
Every little helps.

Thanks Tesco! :p

bobrik
Jan 9, 2008, 10:09 AM
Just lowering UK prices is not good enough. They should allow purchasing from any EU country. At the moment some Eu countries can't use the service at all.

Yes, I totally agree. I am from such a country. Though I think EU could as well work harder to make entering EU market as easy as entering just one country (standardize law etc.)

andiwm2003
Jan 9, 2008, 10:14 AM
sometimes you just got to love the EU.:D

there is no reason beyond pure greed why music exec's charge more for music in UK. (normally i'm for free market's where everyone can charge whatever they want. but the music industry is such a mess they deserve a kick in the b*&&)

maehara
Jan 9, 2008, 10:15 AM
It's a start, but until they get European pricing down to the level of the US, I'll not be entirely happy.

99 cents = 51p, plus UK VAT @ 17.5% = 60p. Still a big difference from 74p.

Virgil-TB2
Jan 9, 2008, 10:20 AM
Just lowering UK prices is not good enough. They should allow purchasing from any EU country. At the moment some Eu countries can't use the service at all.This is the first thing I thought as well.

I would be much more inclined to buy music or video on iTunes if I had a choice of what's available everywhere. It is the 21st century already after-all and the Internet is a world-wide network, not a USA network.

- Most of my favorite TV shows are British, but you can't buy them from Canada.

- My favorite band right now is Swedish, and they have their music for sale on the label site in Sweden in non-DRM mp3's, but it isn't on iTunes, in Canada, the US or the UK.

- Living in Canada, why the ***** should I have to do a deal with some dodgy eBay'er for an iTunes card so I can buy TV shows from iTunes USA when they are broadcast up here over the air?

If there is one area where Apple is quite a bit *behind* the curve it's internationalisation in general. Most American companies have these same kind of blinders on, but it would be very cool if Apple took the leadership here and became more of a world-wide company than just an American one.

shov
Jan 9, 2008, 10:21 AM
Just before Sterling takes a nosedive against the Euro. In six months I bet it'll cost UK iTunes users more with the standardised pricing than it would if prices were fixed at 79p. And Apple will pay lower wholesale costs.

OllyW
Jan 9, 2008, 10:26 AM
Makes you wonder why the EU didn't file the charges in the first place against the music companies instead of harassing Apple.

EMI, Sony BMG, Universal Music and Warner Music were also investigated as part of the EU iTunes enquiry. (http://www.macworld.co.uk/ipod-itunes/news/index.cfm?newsid=20094)

The European Commission has been investigating such pricing practices since April 2007, when it accused Apple and the majors (EMI, Warner, Universal and Sony BMG) of engaging in unfair pricing for online sales.

ATG
Jan 9, 2008, 10:27 AM
I am just glad that Apple decided to settle this without going through the courts.

If they had fought this tooth and nail and lost, it would have set an ugly legal precedent. Imagine, every single company that sells good/services would be forced to charge the same price across all countries without regard to differences in taxes etc.

That would lead to one of two things:
1: All countries would be forced to pay the highest prices
2: Companies would determine that many products would no longer be price competitive with "in-country" solutions and move out of the market all-together.

Either way, this is a very scary step in the wrong direction. (punishing retailers due to price differences of its' suppliers).

Hickman
So punishing consumers because they live in a different country is better?

naroola
Jan 9, 2008, 10:28 AM
What puzzles me about this is that the Pound and the Euro are currencies that are not linked to each other. So how can they maintain the same standard pricing throughout Europe? I mean, say the Euro takes a dive of 30% next year, then will Apple have to reduce the price per download in the UK by something similar? Then again, I might be missing something here. :confused:

synth3tik
Jan 9, 2008, 10:29 AM
I dont know much about the UK music industry, but it seems kind odd to investigate Apple because the industry is demanding more money from Apple.

Jimmni
Jan 9, 2008, 10:29 AM
Despite being a fervent Apple fan and supporter I have never bought a single track from the iTunes UK store. I always resented being expected to pay more than other EU countries. Apple should not charge the UK more than other EU countries - and don't say it was the record labels because I'm buying from Apple so it's Apple's job to ensure they negotiate a fair deal. I don't believe for a second that Apple wasn't skimming themselves some extra pennies too.

And those of you saying that 74p is barely any different to 79p are forgetting two things - firstly, it's still 5p and 5p is 5p. Secondly when these complaints were filed in 2004 and when I first resolved not to buy from iTMS UK the Euro was weaker and 99c was more like 60p. That was much harder to swallow. I still don't buy now simply out of principle, and look forward to the standardised prices because I'll finally be able to buy from the iTMS.

The price difference to the US isn't such a big deal to me - firstly the dollar is very weak right now which isn't the fault of either Apple or the record companies, and also earnings are not equivalent. A smaller percentage of my paycheck would go towards buying a song from the iTMS than someone in an equivalent position in the US. It's not the same issue to me. That doesn't mean I'd turn my nose up at 61p iTMS tracks though. Not for a second :D

iPoodOverZune
Jan 9, 2008, 10:30 AM
It's a start, but until they get European pricing down to the level of the US, I'll not be entirely happy.

99 cents = 51p, plus UK VAT @ 17.5% = 60p. Still a big difference from 74p.

Well, they have to ship their stuff to EU from US. So that's cloud (or air waves) shipping added:D

Queso
Jan 9, 2008, 10:31 AM
I'm certain this is Apple attempting to extend the iTunes Plus reach in the UK. If the record companies are offered maintaining DRMd 128kbps downloads for less money or adopting non-DRMd 256kbps and increasing their take, which do you think they'll take?

OllyW
Jan 9, 2008, 10:33 AM
I'm certain this is Apple attempting to extend the iTunes Plus reach in the UK. If the record companies are offered maintaining DRMd 128kbps downloads for less money or adopting non-DRMd 256kbps and increasing their take, which do you think they'll take?

iTunes Plus songs cost 79p, the same as normal iTunes songs :confused:

blashphemy
Jan 9, 2008, 10:36 AM
Wow... first the Mac Pro gets released, now this? We must have a TON of stuff coming to us in the keynote!

Side note: guess those European media folk invited for a live stream must be in for something else... *mysterious* XD

Dagless
Jan 9, 2008, 10:37 AM
It's going to take 6 months to shave 5p off each song.

Oh dear that's bad.

akadmon
Jan 9, 2008, 10:39 AM
So why can't somebody living in the UK buy something from the US iTunes store? What, you're not allowed to do this if you're billing address is not in the US? Even then, you could just buy some US iTunes gift cards on your next trip to the US and use those. No?

naroola
Jan 9, 2008, 10:40 AM
I'm certain this is Apple attempting to extend the iTunes Plus reach in the UK. If the record companies are offered maintaining DRMd 128kbps downloads for less money or adopting non-DRMd 256kbps and increasing their take, which do you think they'll take?

First of all, the DRM is implemented by Apple. I think the record companies only wanted DRM to be added to iTunes tracks for copyright purposes, but Apple wrote the DRM and maintains it. The record companies don't maintain DRM tracks themselves. Secondly, the iTunes Plus songs (256k, non-DRM) in the US are now all 99 cents as well.. same price as the 128k, DRM versions. So I don't see how the record companies will benefit from more money except for the fact that songs purchased from iTunes can be played on any player... iPod or Zune or whatever. This strategy however raises sales of songs and players... at least theoretically, and thus revenue for Apple and the record labels.

gotohamish
Jan 9, 2008, 10:44 AM
It's a start, but until they get European pricing down to the level of the US, I'll not be entirely happy.

99 cents = 51p, plus UK VAT @ 17.5% = 60p. Still a big difference from 74p.

Those m4a files are pretty heavy though, with all those drum kits and guitars, and entourages, and manufacturing media companies. The UK needs to factor in the freight shipping of all the music. Keep in mind those barges in the Birmingham canals full of music.

But seriously. Here's some news for you: you'll never be entirely happy with iTunes until the UK and US economies drastically change. Apply your wish to other things, whether it a Honda Civic or a pair of jeans. Things cost different amounts in different countries. For now, you'll have to just deal with it I'm afraid.

sananda
Jan 9, 2008, 10:47 AM
And those of you saying that 74p is barely any different to 79p are forgetting two things - firstly, it's still 5p and 5p is 5p.

really ... who cares about 5p? and it's a tiny price to pay for keeping our own currency.

hob
Jan 9, 2008, 10:47 AM
can I get a retrospective refund? :p

Yuppi
Jan 9, 2008, 10:50 AM
Hey, don't tell anyone. But in Switzerland a song only costs 0.91 EUR..
Making the same price is not the solution. The optimal solution would have been to allow the people from every country to buy in another country. Just like it is with every other good. If you think the german prices for chocolate are too high, just go to france.. (I know stupid example :)
And I want to buy series and movies! Damn it.

Glenny2lappies
Jan 9, 2008, 10:52 AM
Apple currently charges (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7178651.stm) more for downloads in the UK due to the higher cost of wholesale prices in the UK.

Sorry, I detect FUD here. More like "because they can get away with it". I've never understood why us dopey limeys put up with it.

It's the same for just about every piece of software. They don't call the UK Treasure Island for nothing.

maehara
Jan 9, 2008, 10:52 AM
Apply your wish to other things, whether it a Honda Civic or a pair of jeans. Things cost different amounts in different countries. For now, you'll have to just deal with it I'm afraid.
Oh, I do wish. I still pay out the money, but I also wish.

That said, I can understand & accept pricing differences for physical product, as there are a whole slew of supply-chain differences that can account for price differentials. With online downloads, there aren't - once the track has been recorded and the file has been created & posted there's no difference between UK, US, or wherever - so the price should be the same. Otherwise they're just gouging.

(And personally, I blame the recording companies and not Apple for this...)

GroundLoop
Jan 9, 2008, 10:52 AM
So punishing consumers because they live in a different country is better?

That is eactly why it is a "very scary step in the wrong direction."

The EU is basically forcing buisinesses (in this case Apple) to regulate prices across multiple demographics without consideration to all of the other variables (taxes, licenses, strength of currency, etc) that vary based on the country in which they operate.

If these changes affect the business case of providing those goods or services in that country, and doing so will no longer be profitable, you can bet that you will see the number of choices available to the consumer diminish (or prices rise).

In this case, Apple had to perform an analysis to see how much of the EU marketshare was generated from the UK. Analyze if the price reduction (and losses) under the new UK price structure, could be eaten (ie offset by greater profits in the rest of the EU), and determine a course of action.

It looks like that analysis is very close to a breakeven point of tipping Apple's iTunes profitability into the red. This leads us to the statement that Apple will have to renegotiate with the content owners (record companies) to reduce their wholesale costs. If those negotiations fail, that will be less content to the UK and less choice for the consumer.

Very scary indeed.

Hickman

morespce54
Jan 9, 2008, 10:53 AM
A little OT but is there a reason for some songs to be priced at $.99 and some other at a higher price (in Canadian store, at least)???

ehsteve23
Jan 9, 2008, 10:55 AM
74p? when i read that the price would be dropped (without knowing how much european iTunes songs cost) i was expecting something more along the lines of 60p, then i might actually buy stuff from the iTunes store, but alas.... oh well, i rarely buy any music anyway...i hardily listen to most of the 20Gb of music i have.

naroola
Jan 9, 2008, 10:55 AM
It's a start, but until they get European pricing down to the level of the US, I'll not be entirely happy.

99 cents = 51p, plus UK VAT @ 17.5% = 60p. Still a big difference from 74p.

Most of the clothing sold in the UK is made in India and is way cheaper in India and comparatively cheaper in the US as well as compared to the UK. A Pepsi/Coke in the UK is more expensive than the US as well... so is water, so is food, etc. So I guess you don't eat, drink, wear anything?

It's just a fact of life my friend... things are priced differently in different countries. I live in Manhattan, but every time I visit the UK for business, whether it be London or the small town of Dorchester, I am shocked at how expensive similar things are in comparison to even a pricey city like NYC.

dubhe
Jan 9, 2008, 10:57 AM
Fantastic news, but I spent an hour on iTunes two nights ago and spent 50, just my luck...

GroundLoop
Jan 9, 2008, 10:57 AM
It's going to take 6 months to shave 5p off each song.

Oh dear that's bad.

No. It is going to take 6 months to renegotiate the wholesale price of songs with the content providers (or to remove unprofitable content altogether).

Hickman

belovedmonster
Jan 9, 2008, 10:58 AM
It's a start, but until they get European pricing down to the level of the US, I'll not be entirely happy.

99 cents = 51p, plus UK VAT @ 17.5% = 60p. Still a big difference from 74p.

The US Dollar is pretty much worthless at the moment. The exchange rate is crazy at the moment, so bear this in mind when you do your conversation. If the US economy wasn't so terrible at the moment the price difference would be much smaller. Its not Apple's fault the Dollar is worthless.

tjcampbell
Jan 9, 2008, 11:10 AM
This just in...

Torrents are still free.

EagerDragon
Jan 9, 2008, 11:14 AM
This is really good news for the UK folks. Wonder how the record companies will react.

Maybe distributors in other EU states will raise the prices they charge Apple to the same level charged to Apple at the UK, LOL.

The idea is to charge the same in all EU states so uk distributors can lower their charges or the other countries can raise theirs.

I wonder which the distributors would prefer?
LOL

Lone Deranger
Jan 9, 2008, 11:31 AM
5p cheaper may not be much, but every little bit helps. :) What if it had been a 5p raise? I'm sure people would be up in arms.

It's nice to see some prices dropping for once. I'll be updating my monthly public transport ticket tomorrow for the first time in 2008. No doubt prices will have been increased once again by a shocking amount as they do every year without fail. (And it'll still be the same dirty, overcrowded and delayed service). :(

vincebio
Jan 9, 2008, 11:34 AM
Well played i guess..... but whats this i see???

BREAKING NEWS!!!

Apple have reduced they price of ALL the computer hardware on the Apple UK Store to US prices!!!


N O T
:rolleyes:


im pretty sure were all more concerned about our macbook pro prices than our 5p reduction on a 5p rise that shouldnt have been there in the first place lol

madmax_2069
Jan 9, 2008, 11:40 AM
This just in...

Torrents are still free.

Arrrr where be your eye patch



i didn't think that promoting downloading music illegally was a good thing to talk about on here.

Brianstorm91
Jan 9, 2008, 11:40 AM
I won't be buying any music from iTunes until they can match Amazon's prices on CDs, considering it's currently more expensive, lower quality, fair-play restricted and without a hard copy. Sorry, Apple.

I'd much prefer them to fix the hardware prices, rather than downloads.

Henri Gaudier
Jan 9, 2008, 11:53 AM
As someone who's still a vinyl nut - this doesn't affect me at all but I'm really glad that for those of you who do as it's a step in the right direction. The high price disparity between markets is disgraceful and I don't see why a world wide deal couldn't have been brokered in the first place and a flat charge given. As for not being able to buy from cheaper iTunes stores elsewhere in the world, I passionately hate globalisation but I thought it was against WTO (World Trade Organisation) rules to deny people goods and services as this then isn't a "free market" and a "free market" is the absolute desire; so isn't it illegal of Apple to deny you access to their cheaper markets based on the purchaser's geographical location? Not really up on international law but superficially it makes sense doesn't it? Final thought, no one needs record companies anyway and their days are numbered.

walnuts
Jan 9, 2008, 11:55 AM
Makes you wonder why the EU didn't file the charges in the first place against the music companies instead of harassing Apple.

I would think that the EU's thinking here was why sue several companies when they could sue one (Apple) and then hope that through fear of being sued next and from pressure that Apple would exert that the suppliers would fall in line.

Welly
Jan 9, 2008, 11:58 AM
really ... who cares about 5p? and it's a tiny price to pay for keeping our own currency.

5p is 5p and lots of 5ps soon add up. And keeping our own currency? The euro is getting stronger and stronger all the time and at some point in the future, it'll probably match the pound. I could care less whether my money has a , a or a $ on it and I certainly don't care who's face is on the back of it.

gnasher729
Jan 9, 2008, 12:01 PM
So why can't somebody living in the UK buy something from the US iTunes store? What, you're not allowed to do this if you're billing address is not in the US? Even then, you could just buy some US iTunes gift cards on your next trip to the US and use those. No?

Because the copyright holders (the record companies) don't allow it. :(

akadmon
Jan 9, 2008, 12:09 PM
Because the copyright holders (the record companies) don't allow it. :(

Yeah, but how will the record companies prove that the song you have on your iPod was downloaded from the US? Or does Apple somehow detect your physical location and prevent you from downloading if you're not in the US? Just wondering, because it seems strange that a lot of people would not do what I said earlier -- use an US purchased iTunes gift card to pay for downloads from the US iTunes store to a computer located overseas.

TheIguana
Jan 9, 2008, 12:19 PM
This is the first thing I thought as well.

I would be much more inclined to buy music or video on iTunes if I had a choice of what's available everywhere. It is the 21st century already after-all and the Internet is a world-wide network, not a USA network.

- Most of my favorite TV shows are British, but you can't buy them from Canada.

- My favorite band right now is Swedish, and they have their music for sale on the label site in Sweden in non-DRM mp3's, but it isn't on iTunes, in Canada, the US or the UK.

- Living in Canada, why the ***** should I have to do a deal with some dodgy eBay'er for an iTunes card so I can buy TV shows from iTunes USA when they are broadcast up here over the air?

If there is one area where Apple is quite a bit *behind* the curve it's internationalisation in general. Most American companies have these same kind of blinders on, but it would be very cool if Apple took the leadership here and became more of a world-wide company than just an American one.

Alot of that comes down to the downright 'dodgy' licensing agreements/practices that the content industry has brought forth in the multitude of countries it sells its content. Yes we can blame Apple, but Apple in a sense are the only ones trying fight past all of the stupid rediculous bureacracy these content empires have setup over the past decades. Now that is not to say that Apple does not have its own motivations, but it does speak to how petty these debates get when the product is digital and no long some corporal piece of technology that can be shipped from one place to another.

What I find most troubling is however Apple's lackluster commitment to pricing in one country contrast to others. Why should I have to pay $2.29 for the exact same content that is avaliable for $1.99. This may sound like a fruitless argument over pennies but ultimately it sets a very bad precedent. Particlarly when companies can simple come into a market and exclaim 'we are the only source' thus we will be charging an egregious margin above what the contents pricing actually is. And when controls are put in place (particularly as the result of archaic licensing) that prevent one from buying content from the other country/source because one lives somewhere else, it just makes situatiosn even more excrutiatingly irritating.

Nick012
Jan 9, 2008, 12:22 PM
While I can see that this is good news, I never really 'got' the whole paying for music downloads thing. The Eagles - Long Road out of Eden is 9.99 on iTunes and is the same price 300m down the road at HMV, plus I get the physical CD, the case, and the booklet. If I didn't mind waiting I could get it off amazon for 7.49 (along with some other stuff for free delivery). Plus, I could torrent it in about 15mins if I were so inclined.

I'm sure this has been said about a million times before, and that iTunes is convenient for some people (not sure who). But I just never understood the appeal.

Nick012
Jan 9, 2008, 12:25 PM
5p is 5p and lots of 5ps soon add up. And keeping our own currency? The euro is getting stronger and stronger all the time and at some point in the future, it'll probably match the pound. I could care less whether my money has a , a or a $ on it and I certainly don't care who's face is on the back of it.
Although you can use euros throughout the euro zone, each country's coins has its own designs on the 'heads' side. Belgium has the king on for example. I get your point though. I like the pound because when I go to visit my parents in belgium I get an extra 40% when I change them (last time I was over 1 was ~1.40)

GroundLoop
Jan 9, 2008, 12:29 PM
Why should I have to pay $2.29 for the exact same content that is avaliable for $1.99.

For the same reason I have to pay a different price (more) for a Toyota in the US as opposed to Japan. There are additional costs associated with doing business outside of your home country (local server farms, content licensing differences, tax differences, currency differences, export/import controls, additional lawyers, etc etc etc).

There will never be a time that you can buy every single item at the exact same price around the world until there is a unified and worldwide government, currency and tax system.

It's a way of life.

Hickman

macinfojunkie
Jan 9, 2008, 12:32 PM
Although you can use euros throughout the euro zone, each country's coins has its own designs on the 'heads' side. Belgium has the king on for example. I get your point though. I like the pound because when I go to visit my parents in belgium I get an extra 40% when I change them (last time I was over 1 was ~€1.40)

You do realise that the "extra 40%" is only a notional number don't you? Some things in euroland are marginally cheaper, but not much is actually 40% cheaper like for like than in the UK.

tjcampbell
Jan 9, 2008, 12:33 PM
Arrrr where be your eye patch



i didn't think that promoting downloading music illegally was a good thing to talk about on here.

Thanks Nancy.

Matti
Jan 9, 2008, 12:35 PM
Good news. The first step into right direction.

Doesn't still solve the original problem (iTunes music store blocking free trade within EU), but Apple can't do more than this on it's own.

European Comission is currently pushing for EU wide licensing for music. It will take time to get that trough in every member state, but it will come. Todays news at least stops records companies profiting from unnatural trade barrier within EU.

sananda
Jan 9, 2008, 12:49 PM
I could care less whether my money has a , a or a $ on it and I certainly don't care who's face is on the back of it.

it's about sovereignty.

mpw
Jan 9, 2008, 12:57 PM
...how a macbook is half the price in the states then it is in the UK...
It's simply a matter of comparing the GBP in the UK to the USD in the USA taking into account VAT and FOREX then subtracting your BS.
US price = $1,499.00
Convert USD to GBP = 764.00
UK price = 808.00
Price 'premium' in UK= 5.7%
So that'll be closer to 5% rather than the 50% you stated. Don't believe everything the Daily Mail and Sun tell you.
I guess it's because it's easier (and faster) to go after a single company, in this case Apple, rather than trying to file charges against multiple record companies...
Could it be that the EU are using consumer protection laws, which mean they need to take action against the retailer, Apple, rather than the wholesaler, Big Bad Record Co.?
So why can't somebody living in the UK buy something from the US iTunes store?...
Because the suppliers are different from country to country, a band might be on one label in the US and another in the UK. The label own the rights in their respective territories.

samab
Jan 9, 2008, 01:05 PM
Good news. The first step into right direction.

Doesn't still solve the original problem (iTunes music store blocking free trade within EU), but Apple can't do more than this on it's own.

European Comission is currently pushing for EU wide licensing for music. It will take time to get that trough in every member state, but it will come. Todays news at least stops records companies profiting from unnatural trade barrier within EU.

The EC isn't solving anything --- they backed down completely on this issue by agreeing with Apple that neither Apple nor the music industry crafted the geographical barriers.

It would be very funny to see --- in 6 months --- if Apple would declare that they can't make the UK itune price lower because they can't agree with the record companies. So the only thing Apple can do is to raise the price of the other European itune downloads to UK prices.

Patchwork
Jan 9, 2008, 01:11 PM
It's simply a matter of comparing the GBP in the UK to the USD in the USA taking into account VAT and FOREX then subtracting your BS.
US price = $1,499.00
Convert USD to GBP = 764.00
UK price = 808.00
Price 'premium' in UK= 5.7%
So that'll be closer to 5% rather than the 50% you stated. Don't believe everything the Daily Mail and Sun tell you.

The UK price is actually 949, so the difference is actually about 17.5%.

Matti
Jan 9, 2008, 01:15 PM
The EC isn't solving anything --- they backed down completely on this issue by agreeing with Apple that neither Apple nor the music industry crafted the geographical barriers.

It would be very funny to see --- in 6 months --- if Apple would declare that they can't make the UK itune price lower because they can't agree with the record companies. So the only thing Apple can do is to raise the price of the other European itune downloads to UK prices.

I think you are seeing this too pessimistic. Currently record companies and Apple can point to the mess known as European IP laws. To go further than this would require those laws to be sorted. Just last week Comission gave statement that this is exactly what they plan to do. I think that todays decision is just about stopping companies from exploiting and profiting from current situation.

The free flow of goods, capital and people within Europe is the corner stone of European Union. They won't allow this to go on.

The Spice must flow.

macinfojunkie
Jan 9, 2008, 01:20 PM
The UK price is actually 949, so the difference is actually about 17.5%.

Personally whatever the premium, small price to pay for living in Blighty. I'd not want to move over the Pond even it Macbooks were free!

wordmunger
Jan 9, 2008, 01:21 PM
The US Dollar is pretty much worthless at the moment. The exchange rate is crazy at the moment, so bear this in mind when you do your conversation. If the US economy wasn't so terrible at the moment the price difference would be much smaller. Its not Apple's fault the Dollar is worthless.

But if the dollar is so worthless, why does it buy more music in the U.S. than in other countries?

You're right that the decline in the dollar has some impact on the relative prices, but the other factor is that Apple is riding with the dollar in the U.S. They could also just raise the price of iTunes songs in the U.S. to match the decline of the dollar, but you don't see them doing that.

mpw
Jan 9, 2008, 01:21 PM
The UK price is actually 949, so the difference is actually about 17.5%.
But if you include UK VAT you need to include US sales tax in the equation too;
US price = $1,630.00
Convert USD to GBP = 831.00
UK price = 949.00
Price 'premium' in UK= 12%
Still not the 50% claimed, and not Apple's doing.

Hattig
Jan 9, 2008, 01:27 PM
The UK price is actually 949, so the difference is actually about 17.5%.

Excluding VAT?

Nick012
Jan 9, 2008, 01:30 PM
You do realise that the "extra 40%" is only a notional number don't you? Some things in euroland are marginally cheaper, but not much is actually 40% cheaper like for like than in the UK.

Well, considering dvds tend to be around 30% cheaper. I beg to differ.

elgruga
Jan 9, 2008, 01:34 PM
It's a start, but until they get European pricing down to the level of the US, I'll not be entirely happy.

99 cents = 51p, plus UK VAT @ 17.5% = 60p. Still a big difference from 74p.

A TAX of 17.5%!!!!!

The UK is NUTS - I suggest borrowing Madame Guillotine from your French neighbours and cleaning up the UK Government.

porky
Jan 9, 2008, 01:36 PM
Side note: guess those European media folk invited for a live stream must be in for something else... *mysterious* XD[/QUOTE]

Read my lips, it's about the launch of the iPhone in the other European country's! I know i'm right! I hope i'm right!

elgruga
Jan 9, 2008, 01:40 PM
This just in...

Torrents are still free.

A little iTunes, a little record store, a little LimeWire, some Torrents - throw in a bunch of friends with music you can copy and you have the perfect music cocktail for the working man or woman.

Aint that the truth?

iDeal
Jan 9, 2008, 01:44 PM
I am just glad that Apple decided to settle this without going through the courts.

If they had fought this tooth and nail and lost, it would have set an ugly legal precedent. Imagine, every single company that sells good/services would be forced to charge the same price across all countries without regard to differences in taxes etc.

That would lead to one of two things:
1: All countries would be forced to pay the highest prices
2: Companies would determine that many products would no longer be price competitive with "in-country" solutions and move out of the market all-together.

Either way, this is a very scary step in the wrong direction. (punishing retailers due to price differences of its' suppliers).

Hickman

I'm afraid I think you are living in cloud cuckoo land. The whole point of the EU is that it is a single market, note that phrase 'Single Market', single indicates one, market indicates a selling place, the EU has regulations in place to ensure that pricing is the same across the EU, for example it should not be cheaper for me to buy a car in France than in Britain, it is not the case. Also the EU seeks to normalize laws and taxes across the EU and to ensure a free market, for example I can drive across all of the continent without border controls, a country, for better or for worse is rendered to a member state. Costs for running companies should be very similar across the EU, are you seriously saying that it costs more to sell music digitally in Britain than in France?

macinfojunkie
Jan 9, 2008, 01:47 PM
Well, considering dvds tend to be around 30% cheaper. I beg to differ.

Honestly, I'd love to be wrong on this. Where are you getting full english language DVDs from @30% off discounted UK prices. A quick check on Amazon for The Bourne Ultimatum

UK (€ 16,77) (I can get 10% so would be €15,09)
Germany (€ 14,95) (pre-order discount price).
France (not listed!)
Don't even mention Ireland..... DVD prices there make me scream every time I'm there they are so high.

Ok not the most sophisticated of comparisons, but still hardly 30% cheaper in euroland.

Now cars, that's another matter!

JW Pepper
Jan 9, 2008, 01:49 PM
I think Apple has made a huge mistake here. It should have taken the EU on in the courts. The defence is simple, we (Apple) don't set the prices the record companies do. Apple will work on a margin and probably try to keep the margin the same which reflects he differing prices in different EU countries.

I believe that Apple did not want to go to court as it would have involved disclosure of commercial information, and have thrown down the gauntlet to the record companies instead.

macinfojunkie
Jan 9, 2008, 01:49 PM
A TAX of 17.5%!!!!!

The UK is NUTS - I suggest borrowing Madame Guillotine from your French neighbours and cleaning up the UK Government.

Someone tried to get rid of that shower in 1605 but failed miserably :D

coolfactor
Jan 9, 2008, 01:50 PM
This is the first thing I thought as well.

I would be much more inclined to buy music or video on iTunes if I had a choice of what's available everywhere. It is the 21st century already after-all and the Internet is a world-wide network, not a USA network.

- Most of my favorite TV shows are British, but you can't buy them from Canada.

- My favorite band right now is Swedish, and they have their music for sale on the label site in Sweden in non-DRM mp3's, but it isn't on iTunes, in Canada, the US or the UK.

- Living in Canada, why the ***** should I have to do a deal with some dodgy eBay'er for an iTunes card so I can buy TV shows from iTunes USA when they are broadcast up here over the air?

If there is one area where Apple is quite a bit *behind* the curve it's internationalisation in general. Most American companies have these same kind of blinders on, but it would be very cool if Apple took the leadership here and became more of a world-wide company than just an American one.

Don't be so quick to judge. There's many other factors than just Apple *choosing* to focus most of its efforts in the US. Licensing is a big influencing factor. It takes many months longer to arrange international distribution rights than it does for local distribution rights. Exporting of [physical] goods across borders is another huge deal. Not simple as the Board of Directors saying "do it". Lots of red tape to cut through.

As a Canadian myself, I wish it was different, but it isn't. I've seen Apple respond to consumer demands, such as lowering Canadian pricing for iTunes Plus tracks... that happened 3 days after I emailed SJ about it. I was blown away they were already working on that.

Matti
Jan 9, 2008, 01:54 PM
A TAX of 17.5%!!!!!

The UK is NUTS - I suggest borrowing Madame Guillotine from your French neighbours and cleaning up the UK Government.

That's actually very low VAT. (IIRC) UK has the third lowest VAT in EU. In Finland (where I live) it's 21,5%.

Oh and I don't have any need for guillotine. I'm very happy with the things that those taxes allows my goverment to do.

dasein
Jan 9, 2008, 02:05 PM
So why can't somebody living in the UK buy something from the US iTunes store? What, you're not allowed to do this if you're billing address is not in the US? Even then, you could just buy some US iTunes gift cards on your next trip to the US and use those. No?

It has nothing to do with anything other than governments.

nja247
Jan 9, 2008, 02:15 PM
5p is 5p and lots of 5ps soon add up. And keeping our own currency? The euro is getting stronger and stronger all the time and at some point in the future, it'll probably match the pound. I could care less whether my money has a , a or a $ on it and I certainly don't care who's face is on the back of it.

The pound, what a pain in the arse! The Queen, bless her, but I could get used to not seeing her face if it meant a common currency in Europe.

I hate cash conversion fees, they get you there and then once you're back.

GroundLoop
Jan 9, 2008, 02:15 PM
I'm afraid I think you are living in cloud cuckoo land. The whole point of the EU is that it is a single market, note that phrase 'Single Market', single indicates one, market indicates a selling place, the EU has regulations in place to ensure that pricing is the same across the EU, for example it should not be cheaper for me to buy a car in France than in Britain, it is not the case. Also the EU seeks to normalize laws and taxes across the EU and to ensure a free market, for example I can drive across all of the continent without border controls, a country, for better or for worse is rendered to a member state. Costs for running companies should be very similar across the EU, are you seriously saying that it costs more to sell music digitally in Britain than in France?

But, as of this point in time, the EU is NOT a unified market. Each member has its own laws, regulations, fees, taxes, etc, etc. Therefore, there will be price differences across the individual members. If the EU can unify and standardize all of this then the prices should be, and likely will be, identical.

By your own words, "the EU seeks to normalize laws and taxes across the EU and to ensure a free market". This, by definition, means that it is not completed. It is you that is not living in reality.

As for different prices in France and Britain with current music, if you believe that the content providers have different wholesale prices in each country, which they are currently legally allowed to do, then yes, I do believe that there are additional costs. Are the taxes exactly the same in the two countries?

There will be price differences until there is a unified world government where all businesses follow the same laws, have the same tax regulations, and have the same currency.

Hickman

moniker
Jan 9, 2008, 02:41 PM
Just lowering UK prices is not good enough. They should allow purchasing from any EU country. At the moment some Eu countries can't use the service at all.

And they shouldn't force me to use the service in one country only. I mostly work in other EU countries and even have a flat abroad now. I'm still forced to buy from the UK shop.

nja247
Jan 9, 2008, 02:43 PM
A TAX of 17.5%!!!!!

The UK is NUTS - I suggest borrowing Madame Guillotine from your French neighbours and cleaning up the UK Government.

Interesting, being that the OECD has the UK and Canada just about on par in terms of average income tax (UK slightly more, 2-3%) however Canada having a 6% higher corporate tax compared to the UK.

However, VAT, or sales tax in Canada is lower than in the UK, though not by much (depending on province). While your province may claim to have low sales tax rate, in actuality when you combine Federal (hidden) and Province sales tax, you find that the folks in Prince Edward Island actually pay on average a 15.5% tax, Quebec an average combined tax of 12.875%, Ontario combined at 13%, etc. (It's all on Wikipedia).

Thus, you're that THAT much lower -- unless you're in Alberta with its 5% sales tax.

moniker
Jan 9, 2008, 02:44 PM
sometimes you just got to love the EU.:D

there is no reason beyond pure greed why music exec's charge more for music in UK. (normally i'm for free market's where everyone can charge whatever they want. but the music industry is such a mess they deserve a kick in the b*&&)

But in a free market you should certainly be allowed to buy from wherever you like.

samab
Jan 9, 2008, 02:45 PM
I think you are seeing this too pessimistic. Currently record companies and Apple can point to the mess known as European IP laws. To go further than this would require those laws to be sorted. Just last week Comission gave statement that this is exactly what they plan to do. I think that todays decision is just about stopping companies from exploiting and profiting from current situation.

The problem is that the EC always talk big, but individual European nations will do whatever they want to do --- which is to protect their own little turf.

The EC has no case whatsoever --- there is no anti-trust concern because Apple doesn't have a monopolistic market share in music download. And the record companies are just respecting individual nation's IP laws.

We have already seen how Apple bypassed the simlocking laws by selling unlocked iphones for insanely high price. Why not raise the itunes fees in the rest of Europe to match the high UK price?

nja247
Jan 9, 2008, 02:51 PM
But in a free market you should certainly be allowed to buy from wherever you like.

This aspect of the market IS NOT liberalised yet, thus there will be differences in prices. We can speculate about tax, etc. (VAT in UK is actually 2.1% LOWER than France btw), but the truth is everyone (any company in operation), including Apple knows it's customary to charge customers in Britain more for goods.

moniker
Jan 9, 2008, 03:00 PM
The EU is basically forcing buisinesses (in this case Apple) to regulate prices across multiple demographics without consideration to all of the other variables (taxes, licenses, strength of currency, etc) that vary based on the country in which they operate.

Net income less cost of living etc is quite similar in most EU countries. I earn a lot more in the UK than in Spain, for example, but once all my ordinary costs are paid I have about the same amount of money left in my pocket.

And the price of songs is still likely to differ somewhat among countries due to different rates of VAT.

Peel
Jan 9, 2008, 03:02 PM
Yeah, but how will the record companies prove that the song you have on your iPod was downloaded from the US? Or does Apple somehow detect your physical location and prevent you from downloading if you're not in the US? Just wondering, because it seems strange that a lot of people would not do what I said earlier -- use an US purchased iTunes gift card to pay for downloads from the US iTunes store to a computer located overseas.

Good questions. I'm a US citizen, and will be moving to London in the end of March for a couple years for work. Since I'll keep my US bank cards, and accounts (in addition to the British ones I get once I move), I should still be able to purchase from the US store, and unless they're monitoring IP addresses, they shouldn't be able to tell.

I wonder if they would actually prevent me from purchasing from the UK store then, since my itunes acct was set up in the US - say someone gave me a UK iTunes card as a gift, I may not be able to redeam it.

moniker
Jan 9, 2008, 03:09 PM
Most of the clothing sold in the UK is made in India and is way cheaper in India and comparatively cheaper in the US as well as compared to the UK. A Pepsi/Coke in the UK is more expensive than the US as well... so is water, so is food, etc. So I guess you don't eat, drink, wear anything?

And a Hasselblad camera, that is manufactured in Sweden, is substantially more expensive in Sweden and the rest of the EU than in the US (comparing net prices here).

theBB
Jan 9, 2008, 03:12 PM
I wonder if they would actually prevent me from purchasing from the UK store then, since my itunes acct was set up in the US - say someone gave me a UK iTunes card as a gift, I may not be able to redeam it.
I think you'll need to open up a new account on iTunes to purchase from the UK store. You should be able to authorize both accounts on your computer, but still it is a bit of a hassle.

The UK price is actually 949, so the difference is actually about 17.5%.
Is it Apple's fault UK VAT is so high? He is comparing the prices before sales taxes.

nja247
Jan 9, 2008, 03:15 PM
The problem is that the EC always talk big, but individual European nations will do whatever they want to do --- which is to protect their own little turf.

Well no, because if the area in question has been liberalised (regulated) then the member state must follow EU rules. In this case it has not and thus your comment makes no sense.

The EC has no case whatsoever --- there is no anti-trust concern because Apple doesn't have a monopolistic market share in music download. And the record companies are just respecting individual nation's IP laws.

And? I recall the Commission stating this as well. A complaint and an investigation into that complaint does not equal a "case".

We have already seen how Apple bypassed the simlocking laws by selling unlocked iphones for insanely high price. Why not raise the itunes fees in the rest of Europe to match the high UK price?

Bypassed how exactly? Through compliance, albeit at higher prices? Higher price at point of sale does not mean that the buyer may not actually save money in the long run. Do not under-estimate the amount of savings that can be obtained by having the ability to swap SIMs to avoid international roaming charges. Further those laws had nothing to do with the EU, it was France and Germany specifically.

Matti
Jan 9, 2008, 03:17 PM
The problem is that the EC always talk big, but individual European nations will do whatever they want to do --- which is to protect their own little turf.

The EC has no case whatsoever --- there is no anti-trust concern because Apple doesn't have a monopolistic market share in music download. And the record companies are just respecting individual nation's IP laws.


EU has done helluva lot for free trade in Europe. Compare Europe pre-Treaty of Rome to Europe today. They have opened up trade in so many areas that it would be pointless to list all here. They will do it to digital music. It might take some time, but it will come. It's better to have this complex Union, than to not have Union at all.


We have already seen how Apple bypassed the simlocking laws by selling unlocked iphones for insanely high price. Why not raise the itunes fees in the rest of Europe to match the high UK price?

Simlocking has nothing to with EU. You are confusing local french law and EU.

Pricing isn't the problem. It's their right as private company. I don't care if Apple charges people living in UK million pounds per song as long as they don't create artificial trade barriers.

I doubt Apple has guts to rise prices in euro-zone to UK level. It's pretty clear that this decision was temporary solution to complex problem and Comission is propably following iTMS very closely.

nja247
Jan 9, 2008, 03:19 PM
Good questions. I'm a US citizen, and will be moving to London in the end of March for a couple years for work. Since I'll keep my US bank cards, and accounts (in addition to the British ones I get once I move), I should still be able to purchase from the US store, and unless they're monitoring IP addresses, they shouldn't be able to tell.

I wonder if they would actually prevent me from purchasing from the UK store then, since my itunes acct was set up in the US - say someone gave me a UK iTunes card as a gift, I may not be able to redeam it.

Similar situation here. You'll have no issue using your US iTunes in the UK. When I want to buy anything from iTunes, I log out of my UK account and into my US account to save money. Occasionally I'm stuck using the UK account regardless when the US store doesn't have the song I want.

nja247
Jan 9, 2008, 03:24 PM
EU has done helluva lot for free trade in Europe. Compare Europe pre-Treaty of Rome to Europe today. They have opened up trade in so many areas that it would be pointless to list all here. They will do it to digital music. It might take some time, but it will come. It's better to have this complex Union, than to not have Union at all.

I'd seriously consider ignoring Samab because if you check out a majority of his posts relating to anything about Apple in Europe, and specifically his posts in regards to the unlocking of the iPhone in France and Germany (which had nothing at all to do with the EU) his posts were extremely anti-European and down-right ignorant.

nbs2
Jan 9, 2008, 03:46 PM
So punishing consumers because they live in a different country is better?

I am curious to know what the cost of living is across the boundaries.

In the end, Apple's stance has me worried for my European friends. I'm not sure how much the companies will bend. And if they don't, then that'll be it for the iTMS (I'm sure the store will still have games and stuff :))

samab
Jan 9, 2008, 05:09 PM
They will do it to digital music. It might take some time, but it will come.

They won't do it for digital music --- because the majority of the music studios are European owned (EMI, Vivendi...). This is why the French government had to back down on the itunes interoperability demands.

lamadude
Jan 9, 2008, 05:11 PM
I wonder how Britain's eurosceptic press is going to spinn this to make the EU look bad... it's a tough one but I'm sure they're up to the task.

Matti
Jan 9, 2008, 05:20 PM
They won't do it for digital music --- because the majority of the music studios are European owned (EMI, Vivendi...). This is why the French government had to back down on the itunes interoperability demands.

Majority of all business done in Europe is European owned and it hasn't stopped EU from liberating almost all fields of business.

And again you are confusing french law and European Union.

Reading this might be helpfull for you:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_union

Then read this and try to spot the difference:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/France

SeaFox
Jan 9, 2008, 05:52 PM
Good point, why does Apple have to charge the same price across Europe, if the record companies do not?

A better question of why Apple is having to dole out these veiled threats of "examining relationships" if the labels don't lower their prices. The government should be forcing the labels to reduce their pricing regardless of what Apple does. Is it Apple's job to police the EU's markets?

SeaFox
Jan 9, 2008, 06:16 PM
Yeah, but how will the record companies prove that the song you have on your iPod was downloaded from the US? Or does Apple somehow detect your physical location and prevent you from downloading if you're not in the US? Just wondering, because it seems strange that a lot of people would not do what I said earlier -- use an US purchased iTunes gift card to pay for downloads from the US iTunes store to a computer located overseas.

I beleive you still have to register on iTunes to use giftcards, and that includes suppling a credit/debit card, which has a residential address listed. The record companies would just have to see what iTunes acct the tracks were purchased under, and then see where that account was registered. I can't remember what happens if you move to another country.

And they shouldn't force me to use the service in one country only. I mostly work in other EU countries and even have a flat abroad now. I'm still forced to buy from the UK shop.
Because you registered with a credit card listed at your UK address perhaps? :rolleyes:

samab
Jan 9, 2008, 06:26 PM
Majority of all business done in Europe is European owned and it hasn't stopped EU from liberating almost all fields of business.

And again you are confusing french law and European Union.

I am not confusing anything. What I am saying is that national governments will protect their national interest --- rendering any attempts to have a EU wide single standard difficult.

The first Beatles music will run out of copyright protections in 2012 --- which means that UK is constantly looking at whether to extend copyright protections for another 45 years (much like the so-called Disney extension in the US). Do you think that there is going to be a EU-wide digital music deal when UK is looking at whether they are going to extend Beatles' copyright protection for another 45 years?

All the hoopla's on the French government's attempt to have the itunes interoperability issue ironed out last year --- came back a big fat zero because the French government was afraid to hurt Vivendi's bottomline.

mpw
Jan 9, 2008, 06:27 PM
...Because you registered with a credit card listed at your UK address perhaps? :rolleyes:
Interestingly, or not depending on your POV, I don't live i the UK, but I changed the postcode field in my .Mac account to that of the London Regent Street AppleStore and this enabled me to use the UK iTMS.

madmax_2069
Jan 9, 2008, 06:44 PM
Thanks Nancy.

Anytime George

Matti
Jan 9, 2008, 06:58 PM
I am not confusing anything. What I am saying is that national governments will protect their national interest --- rendering any attempts to have a EU wide single standard difficult.

The first Beatles music will run out of copyright protections in 2012 --- which means that UK is constantly looking at whether to extend copyright protections for another 45 years (much like the so-called Disney extension in the US). Do you think that there is going to be a EU-wide digital music deal when UK is looking at whether they are going to extend Beatles' copyright protection for another 45 years?

All the hoopla's on the French government's attempt to have the itunes interoperability issue ironed out last year --- came back a big fat zero because the French government was afraid to hurt Vivendi's bottomline.

Harmonizing legislation has allways been the hard part about EU. Still it has allways moved forward and in much more important areas of industry than music business, which isn't that big of an industry anyway. Markets have been opened to products like steel, constuction and computers. There are propably dozens of examples where national goverments had much bigger economic interest to defend than with record industry. None of your examples really make me believe that digital music will be tougher to push trough than average EU project.

After all CDs, LPs and other "solid" forms of music are allready sold freely within Europe. Record industry couldn't stop that.

samab
Jan 9, 2008, 07:50 PM
Harmonizing legislation has allways been the hard part about EU. Still it has allways moved forward and in much more important areas of industry than music business, which isn't that big of an industry anyway. Markets have been opened to products like steel, constuction and computers. There are propably dozens of examples where national goverments had much bigger economic interest to defend than with record industry. None of your examples really make me believe that digital music will be tougher to push trough than average EU project.

After all CDs, LPs and other "solid" forms of music are allready sold freely within Europe. Record industry couldn't stop that.

There aren't that much of differences in the "have" and "have not" in those industries. UK (because their English language) still contribute somewhat to music industry (their film industry is pretty much gone). France is very sensitive about their French language, culture and film industry --- it's like the third rail for them.

It's easier to negotiate when all the countries have similar levels of industrial development in steel or construction. It is much harder when a few European countries have a lot of world market share in 1 thing and the other 20 European countries don't even register a percentage in market share.

moniker
Jan 9, 2008, 08:10 PM
Because you registered with a credit card listed at your UK address perhaps? :rolleyes:

Very much so, meaning that I pay UK VAT when I'm in, say, Germany, which isn't legal according to the EU VAT Directive. VAT should be paid at the rate at the location of the purchaser, not the seller.

macinfojunkie
Jan 9, 2008, 08:10 PM
I wonder how Britain's eurosceptic press is going to spinn this to make the EU look bad... it's a tough one but I'm sure they're up to the task.

If the BBC is anything to go by they'll pin the medal on "Which?" (an UK consumer group) for bringing it to the attention of the EU regulators in the first place, and then go on about how the EU is being useful for a change.

It is funny sometimes how the UK media refer to the EU as something that the UK is participating in as a naughty child would stay after school on detention, rather than a "club" to which it willingly joined and pays high annual fees to participate in.

Local Govt. = inept. Regional Govt. = ineffectual. National Govt. = incompetent. See a pattern? Need I go on?

LOL

mpw
Jan 9, 2008, 08:18 PM
Very much so, meaning that I pay UK VAT when I'm in, say, Germany, which isn't legal according to the EU VAT Directive. VAT should be paid at the rate at the location of the purchaser, not the seller.
But as the purchaser, you are using a UK credit card, so your location is recorded as the UK.

If you're in Germany get yourself a German bank account, a German credit card and pay German taxes.

How else are they gonna be able to tell where you actually are, your word? If that were the case everybody would claim to be in the country with a iTMS with the lowest sales tax.

Goliath
Jan 9, 2008, 09:30 PM
It's a start, but until they get European pricing down to the level of the US, I'll not be entirely happy.

99 cents = 51p, plus UK VAT @ 17.5% = 60p. Still a big difference from 74p.

Fair point but your pricing is based on current $2-1 but these prices were set when the dollar was about $1.61. At that price rate and adding VAT the price comes to 72p

Are Apple expected to track currency fluctuations constantly? What if the Dollar rocketed in value 1-1 with the pound would you proclaim that suddenly we should pay more?

Stella
Jan 9, 2008, 09:50 PM
deleted.

Goliath
Jan 9, 2008, 09:54 PM
But in a free market you should certainly be allowed to buy from wherever you like.

Last summer 2 Belgian business men took the European Union to the European Courts of Justice arguing that wine they bought in France over the net and imported via a 3rd party courier, was illegally subjected to import duties as tax was paid in France on the goods and the goods were for personal use and not for profit. The case they presented was strong and it looked likely they would win after a preliminary hearing ruled in their favour.

However, National Governments- most notably The UK who had the most to lose- lobbied the EU Court that they stood to lose billions, in Excise Duties, if citizens were allowed to buy over the net and import via a 3rd party, alcohol and cigarettes for personal use and pay tax and duties in the Country of origin

So much for a free market economy

ATimson
Jan 9, 2008, 10:28 PM
But in a free market you should certainly be allowed to buy from wherever you like.
And in a free market, a store should be free to choose to charge you a different price than the person standing in line behind you just because they feel like it. As long as you know the price beforehand when selecting the items, and they aren't slapping you with the higher prices at the till...

Matti
Jan 9, 2008, 10:58 PM
And in a free market, a store should be free to choose to charge you a different price than the person standing in line behind you just because they feel like it. As long as you know the price beforehand when selecting the items, and they aren't slapping you with the higher prices at the till...

Sure but, I'll rather have it so that people aren't discriminated on the basis of their nationality.

Also I'll much much rather live in a world where the economies of UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain are so connected and co-dependant of each other, due to existence of the single European market, that they couldn't even afford to go war against each other (and drag the whole planet into the mess during that process). Which is the reason why Treaty of Rome exist.

mpw
Jan 10, 2008, 05:28 AM
...So much for a free market economy
What would the alternative ruling have done to the economies of some EU states? France, being centrally located and with plenty of decent transport infrastructure (paid for in large part by the EU) would suddenly become full of some very large warehouses, while the rest of Europe's retail industry would simply disappear. *France gets rich, is that what you want? rich slimy french men wearing berets in stretched convertible Citroens floating around on lolling soft suspension, munching garlic while their mistresses' armpit hair flows in the wind. Is that what you want, 'casue that's what'll happen.


*about now those with no sense of humour should probably stop reading.

Henri Gaudier
Jan 10, 2008, 05:51 AM
Creepy! It's like you're watching me now.:)

mpw
Jan 10, 2008, 06:02 AM
Creepy! It's like you're watching me now.:)
Through cross-hairs frenchie, through cross-hairs.;)

Henri Gaudier
Jan 10, 2008, 06:17 AM
Which tree Monkey Islander? LOL.

mpw
Jan 10, 2008, 06:19 AM
Which tree Monkey Islander? LOL.
You'll find me laying face down in the bush, given half a chance.

Henri Gaudier
Jan 10, 2008, 06:24 AM
George Jnr or Snr? :D Take care. Work to do!

mpw
Jan 10, 2008, 06:25 AM
George Jnr or Snr? :D Take care. Work to do!
Work? Don't you mean you're about to start your 3hr lunch?

Henri Gaudier
Jan 10, 2008, 06:29 AM
Charlotte Rampling wont wait all day!

shikimo
Jan 11, 2008, 07:24 AM
As much as I hate to interrupt an aftershock of the 100 years war...

What puzzles me about this is that the Pound and the Euro are currencies that are not linked to each other. So how can they maintain the same standard pricing throughout Europe? I mean, say the Euro takes a dive of 30% next year, then will Apple have to reduce the price per download in the UK by something similar? Then again, I might be missing something here. :confused:

This is a good question, naroola: what do they think they're doing here? If and/or until the UK goes Euro this is tough to sell as a real long term solution. Along these same lines, all the posts in this thread whining about price differences between different economies are a waste of time: unless one does a good amount of major currency trading, only economy-specific, income-related buying power matters...and that doesn't even get into sales tax differences and what different cultures expect in return for paying them.



I'm afraid I think you are living in cloud cuckoo land. The whole point of the EU is that it is a single market, note that phrase 'Single Market', single indicates one, market indicates a selling place, the EU has regulations in place to ensure that pricing is the same across the EU, for example it should not be cheaper for me to buy a car in France than in Britain, it is not the case.

I appreciate the effort put into profound layers of sarcasm here, but you're wrong.

As has been pointed out, Euroland prices are anything but standard. There are 1000s of examples, but since you mention cars: what about all the French people who buy cars in Belgium? In fact, What about me? I am currently finishing up a perfectly legal car purchase of a decidedly non-luxury Italian car in Slovenia for about 55% of what the same car would cost me in France. In fact I buy as many things as I can in Slovenia: everything's cheaper, it's 9 hours by car from here and, now that it's Schengen space, border concerns have gone from miniscule to absolutely zero. [and, although this has nothing to do with nothing, I get to do most deals in English, which many Slovenian businessman speak quite well.]

...France gets rich, is that what you want? rich slimy french men wearing berets in stretched convertible Citroens floating around on lolling soft suspension, munching garlic while their mistresses' armpit hair flows in the wind.[/SIZE][/COLOR]

Maaan, I was SO disappointed when I found out our ideas about the armpit hair of French women were all wrong...:cool:

While I can see that this is good news, I never really 'got' the whole paying for music downloads thing. The Eagles - Long Road out of Eden is 9.99 on iTunes and is the same price 300m down the road at HMV, plus I get the physical CD, the case, and the booklet.

"Hey, man, could you change the station? It's been a long day and I hate the f#$#ing Eagles!!"

--Jeffrey Lebowski

NC MacGuy
Jan 11, 2008, 10:32 AM
Apple has had chance to capitalize in Europe and rest of world and dropped the ball. Alienated big labels, DRM, itunes only, price inflexibility.... I've been using Amazon's service lately and have to say it's not as fancy but good selection, good integration and CHEAPER! Apple needs to adjust prices worldwide and rethink model. This goes for $3.99 for 24 hour vid rentals too. Too high priced, not enough time nixes it for me. Feel bad for blokes on other side of the pond but Apple, Inc. is Apple, Inc. At least you have better cell services and options...

moniker
Jan 12, 2008, 10:19 AM
Last summer 2 Belgian business men took the European Union to the European Courts of Justice arguing that wine they bought in France over the net and imported via a 3rd party courier, was illegally subjected to import duties as tax was paid in France on the goods and the goods were for personal use and not for profit. The case they presented was strong and it looked likely they would win after a preliminary hearing ruled in their favour.

However, National Governments- most notably The UK who had the most to lose- lobbied the EU Court that they stood to lose billions, in Excise Duties, if citizens were allowed to buy over the net and import via a 3rd party, alcohol and cigarettes for personal use and pay tax and duties in the Country of origin

That says a lot more about the national governments than about market economy and the EU. The same also goes with gambling, where most gambling monopolies in the EU are owned by the governments, generating billions of income to the governments in the name of protecting the people against gambling addiction.

moniker
Jan 12, 2008, 10:24 AM
But as the purchaser, you are using a UK credit card, so your location is recorded as the UK.

If you're in Germany get yourself a German bank account, a German credit card and pay German taxes.

How else are they gonna be able to tell where you actually are, your word? If that were the case everybody would claim to be in the country with a iTMS with the lowest sales tax.

The EU VAT directive is quite clear on this and where the card is registered doesn't have anything to do with it at all. It's the physical location of the customer that matters, even for electronic sales.

Although it isn't entirely safe, they could use geolocation on the IP address to determine the location of the purchaser. NETeller and other payment providers who are regulated do it, so it should be sufficient for Apple too.

moniker
Jan 12, 2008, 10:26 AM
Ok not the most sophisticated of comparisons, but still hardly 30% cheaper in euroland.

Now cars, that's another matter!

But if you went to Euroland to buy a car the steering wheel would be on the left side which is clearly wrong.

moniker
Jan 12, 2008, 10:29 AM
The pound, what a pain in the arse! The Queen, bless her, but I could get used to not seeing her face if it meant a common currency in Europe.

I hate cash conversion fees, they get you there and then once you're back.

The only ones who really gain something from the pound are the banks. For the rest of us it is just a pain whenever we travel outside the UK or buy something from abroad.

But even with the Euro you would see the face of the Queen on the Euro coins, so all would not be lost.

moniker
Jan 12, 2008, 10:33 AM
it's about sovereignty.

Which sovereignty exactly? The one that England had in the 18th century?

Mind you, after changing the traditional Sterling (with shillings and all that) to, ehr, Sterling, the current Sterling is one of the youngest currencies (aside from the Euro) in the world, so there's not much tradition or heritage to preserve either.

Adamo
Jan 12, 2008, 01:26 PM
Anyone that buys their music solely from iTunes is a tool anyway. DRM, piss-poor quality (128kbps, ohoho! You jest!), cocking up single sales (Biffy Clyro 'Semi-Mental', listed the band as Semi-Mental so their charting was erased, same with Reuben and 'Christmas Is Awesome', they put the sales up for the wrong song, so they didn't chart this Christmas). iTunes is a mess.

shikimo
Jan 15, 2008, 03:05 AM
That says a lot more about the national governments than about market economy and the EU. The same also goes with gambling, where most gambling monopolies in the EU are owned by the governments, generating billions of income to the governments in the name of protecting the people against gambling addiction.

This is a great point and may deserve its own thread, as the EU should be about to rule on France's blatantly illegal gambling monopoly, which could serve as precedent for other EU countries who have similar laws. I think it can be seen as a complicated and very interesting trial of the EU's ability to overcome MASSIVE financial incentives at the country level and enforce its policies...whatever ones opinion may be on gambling, the opening of the French gambling market to non-government interests would be a huge credibility boost for the EU as it tries to take steps in the direction of a single market.

sreedy
Mar 19, 2008, 07:56 AM
Where is this price drop then? As far as I can see it's still 79p a track!