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Apple and the music labels called by the EU

enero 13, 2020

The record companies and Apple will meet the European community on the antitrust case which accuses the two sides of applying different prices for the various countries of the Union and preventing the free movement of goods and services.

The case originates from iTunes policies. The Apple music store, as known, limits the ability to buy music to specific stores based on residence. This, in practical terms, contravenes one of the fundamental rules of the Community which prescribes that every citizen can buy the products where he prefers. The position of Apple and the record companies is further aggravated by the fact that different costs are applied for some countries, such as Great Britain, whose residents are so disadvantaged compared to those who reside elsewhere.

The investigation started precisely from the United Kingdom, after a complaint from the consumer associations. In turn, the European Union was already vigilant on the matter given that some time ago the EU, through Commissioner Charlie McCreevy, had made it clear that digital music in Europe was not taking off due to the difficulties posed by record companies that prefer to keep the national barriers instead of liberalizing the market.

As known, Apple has already made it known that it would have no difficulty in creating a supranational store, but the idea would have been rejected, confirming what the EU claims, on the initiative of the record companies.

The set date on which Apple and the labels will have to clarify their respective positions on 19 and 20 September. In those two days there will be an audition at which Sony BMG, Universal, and Emi, as well as Apple, are called to appear. There will be no Warner instead. If the commission were to find practices contrary to the antitrust authority, it could decide to fine the parties involved up to 10% of their annual turnover.

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