updated 12:40 pm EDT, Mon June 18, 2007
EU charge response due
Apple has only until Wednesday of this week to respond to anti-trust charges alleging that the company restricted online sales of music in Europe. The European Commission originally set a deadline of early June for the response, but granted a two-week extension at the request of Apple and three of the four record companies also implicated; the fourth record company has already submitted a written response to the charges. The allegations revolve around the fact that downloads from Apple's iTunes Store vary in different countries in the European Union, yet consumers are prevented from purchasing tracks from countries other than their own. InfoWorld reports "The Commission said that in the single European market the distribution agreements between the record companies and Apple could amount to restrictive practices."
Apple maintains that it has always wanted to operate a single, universally priced iTunes Store for all of Europe but has been prevented from doing so by record companies.