iTMS UK referred to Euro Commission to rule on overcharging

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Applespider, Dec 3, 2004.

  1. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #1
    BBc are reporting that Which's complaint to the Office of Fair Trading that the UK was paying more for music than Europe has been passed onward to the European Commission to make a ruling. Better not let them find out about ITMS CA!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4065539.stm
     
  2. dobbin macrumors 6502a

    dobbin

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    #2
    I hope this doesn't mean the iTMS UK is closed down by Apple. I feel that could be a possibility which would be crazy.

    I don't think it matters (legally speaking) that the UK prices are higher, but not letting us buy from the French store is illegal from what I understand. If I want to buy a CD in a French shop then no-one stops me, even if I use my UK credit card. The same should apply in this case (I think).

    Which? and the OFT are not going to let this one drop, and I can't see Apple or the record labels giving in either. Whoever the EC rules against is going to make a major fuss I should imagine. This story has got a long way to run yet....
     
  3. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    #3
  4. KrysBaz macrumors member

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    #4
    It's a shame we can't but from the US store at the moment, with the £/$ exchange rate at the moment it would make Albums very cheap indeed!

    I'm not to bothered personally at the price, yes it could come down a little bit, but we pay more for CD's and DVD's etc in the UK anyway compared to the rest of Europe, we have often bought CD's & DVD's on trips to Amsterdam or Spain, as they work out considerably cheaper.

    Applying the same logic to Itunes is fine, but I think it would be better served if Which? referred the whole pricing structure of CD's & DVD's to OFT rather than singling out Itunes.

    It's just more lets have a snipe at the product leader again, not always in the best intrests of the customer, but more in the interest of the free publicity to boost Which? (again)
     
  5. iGav macrumors G3

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    #5
    I think it's right that Apple are pulled up about this, it's not right regardless of what they say not only on price but also with regards to not being able to buy from other Euro iTMS's.

    I still can't believe how cheap the Canadian iTMS is though... we're only 7p short of paying double the amount for a download. :rolleyes:
     
  6. Vanilla macrumors 6502a

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    #6

    I'm guessing, but I imagine this restriction has nothing to do with Apple and all to do with the record companies. Otherwise I'm pretty sure Apple would have just come out with one global product.

    Vanilla
     
  7. Applespider thread starter macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #7
    To be honest, I'm not that concerned about paying pennies more for music. Now if the EU could improve the paying extra pounds for hardware/software, that would be good! :rolleyes:
     
  8. munkle macrumors 68030

    munkle

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    #8
    On a slightly different note, there was a big fuss in the UK recently about iTMS selling the charity single, 'Do They Know It's Christmas'. The powers that be wanted iTMS to sell the single at £1.49 with all proceeds going to charity, Apple initially refused to carry the single citing that all songs were stocked at £0.79 blah blah blah. Apple was heavily criticised for its inflexibility (with even Microsoft stocking the single and snidely claiming they had no problem changing their pricing structure) but have now, at the last minute, decided to release the single anyway - at the £0.79 price but with Apple donating an additional £.70 for every track sold to compensate.

    The song is now the number one selling track at the iTMS :) Anyway not completely related and I'm sure they're cynics who will say that Apple only succumbed to bad press etc etc, bah humbug I say to you lot! I thought it was a good compromise and nice touch on Apple's behalf.
     
  9. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

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    #9
    Apple turned a PR disaster into a PR triumph. Nice. I bet it really pissed off Napster et al... ;)

    On the iTunes note. In my eyes the price isn't that important. It's preventing cross border shopping that's the issue. At least within the EU, I'm pretty certain Apple is at least on shaky ground legally.
     
  10. Loge macrumors 68020

    Loge

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    #10
    The licenses to distibute music apply on a country by country basis even within the EU. A single market for the distribution of copyrighted works is being worked on, but is not there yet. Other music downloads services are the same, for example MSN only lets you purchase from your country's local store.
     
  11. asif786 macrumors 65816

    asif786

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    #11
    i thinkt he pricing is pretty much out of apple's hands...

    visa/mastercard will not reduce their fees in the UK. The record labels aren't going to accept less money. iTMS only makes a few pence on each single.

    How exactly is Apple going to take 10p off the price of each single?

    I cant wait until napster launches in a european country. They charge £1.09 in the uk for a song. unless they charge €1.57 or more in europe, they're in exactly the same situation.

    I dont care about 5p on each song. I'm pretty sure most people that use the iTMS wouldnt want it closed for the sake of this small amount.

    /asif
     
  12. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

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    #12
    I've bought songs knowing full well the cost. The irritating thing is that other iTMS Euro stores have songs I want but i'm not allowed to buy them. I don't care if it's Apple or the record companies/licensing - it still sucks and is contrary to the point of a single market. Someone needs their arse kicking.
     
  13. moot macrumors regular

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    #13
    No matter what the reasons (and there are many good ones) its still wrong.

    Maybe the EC can force not just Apple but the big record companies to bring
    all Europe into alliances. They dont like changing but remember they caved in to Apple in the first place and consented to iTMS.
     
  14. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

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    #14
    I think this is ludicrous and I thought that back in September when this was first hinted at. Of course, I'd love to have cheaper tracks and I hate the fact that here in the UK we generally pay through our noses for stuff. But that's life.

    The really stupid thing about this, is that Apple could simply start charging €1.14 (79p) in all Eurepean countries (i.e. rise the price in the rest of the EU) and there would apparently be no problem. :rolleyes:

    And the rest of the EU would love that ;)

    I think that this is even more stupid, when you think that Apple doesn't even have much breathing room itself. I, for one, very much applaud Europe as one economic trading area, and am even pro-€uro, but having the same price throughout cannot happen without a common set of tracks and a common set of rules throughout Europe (i.e. 1 Euro-wide store). For example, it is the music companies who are delaying Apple from releasing iTMS in Ireland.

    I think the comparison that Apple makes between different UK stores is more appropriate.

    And, at the end of the day, I think 79p per track is a superb price - I'd easily pay £1 a track. A Mars bar is 45p for Christ' sake. And singles are £2.99 or £3.99 each in the shops.

    One more point of ludicracy. Since, the UK and Euro are different currencies, does this mean that Apple has to constantly update its UK stores all the time, in line with the currency conversion rate? Surely, if UK prices were 68p and then the Euro strengthened against the pound, suddenly Apple would be "unfairly charging too much in the UK" again. Then again, if the reverse happened, Apple would be blamed for charging too much in Europe. They can't win. One word: stupid! :rolleyes:

    I really wish they stop moaning on about stupid things and get on to complaining about why we pay twice as much for our cars or our beer... :mad: :rolleyes:

    As a side note, the US and Canadian stores make no difference, because the reason Apple is under fire is because of EU freedom of trade. (i.e. the EU doesn't give a monkeys how much they pay across the pond).

    EDIT: MORE RANT ;)

    Oh and of course if we have free trade and supposedly the same price throughout Europe, then why aren't we allowed to buy from any EU store? And that's not Apple who's restricting us - they are forced to. It's just the same as Jersey based Play.com and CD-wow.com being slammed for selling "[physical] CDs destined for European markets" to users in the UK and being sanctioned for it. What hypocracy :rolleyes: [/rant]
     
  15. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

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    #15
    -dobbin

    while in practicality I would agree, but this has the same root as to why Europe, Canada, US, et'al all have separate stores and not one global store. Why? Each have to cater to the scales and laws (IP, transactive, etc.) of the varying economic blocs. Additionally, as a direct result of that, the exchange rates aren't automatically calculated as they would be using an electronic credit/debit transaction to such a singular global store.

    If the UK were a part of the EU, there would be a singular European store, because of the singular bloc.

    Apple did try to create a global store, but that was not possible. So if were were to cast blame, it would be to the politicians, and beareucrats that hold the economies so dear. Ergo the concept of 'free trade' - but then, that's a different channel of transaction.
     
  16. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

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    #16
    Actually, the UK is in the EU (it was a founding member), it is just not in the Euro (yet).

    However, as far as I know, a French resident with a French credit card, for example, can't buy anything from the German store, even though they both use the Euro.
     
  17. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

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    #17
    -johnnyjibbs

    Well, then the economies are less integrated than I had thought. Thank you for the info.
     

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