updated 08:45 am EDT, Tue May 26, 2009
EU Pushes Pan-Euro Music
The European Commission today pressed music labels on switching to a Europe-wide licensing strategy for music that would let Apple and others run stores for the entire continent. Citing early agreements with EMI as well as French agency SACEM, antitrust Commissioner Neelie Kroes argues that labels need to follow suit and switch from their current country-by-country approach, which forces iTunes and other stores to segregate their audiences and musicians to collect pay through local agencies rather than a single source.
EU regulators have expressed concerns that this fencing-off of music sales has let them have too much control over prices and other terms in certain countries. Apple, at least, has publicly stated its willingness to move to a whole-Europe iTunes store if it can arrange deals with necessary labels and has agreed in the meantime to standardize prices in Europe and the UK when possible.
Some musicians have also publicly objected with worries that they may actually miss out on revenue through the deal, though changes in royalty rates haven't been described as part of the unified store effort.