Brits get cheaper iTunes downloads

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Brits get cheaper iTunes downloads

In a surprise announcement Apple has vowed to standardise iTunes prices across Europe.

The company had been under investigation by the European Union after complaints that UK users were charged 79p a download while the rest of Europe were paying the equivalent of 67p.

Apple had claimed that the 79p charge reflected the "high cost" of doing business in the UK, but has said that UK customers will now be charged the lower price.

"This is an important step towards a pan-European marketplace for music," said Apple chief executive Steve Jobs. "We hope that every major record label will take a pan-European view of pricing."

To reinforce this Jobs stated that any UK record company that does not adjust its prices to the new level will be dropped by iTunes, which controls around 70 per cent of the download market.

The EU said in response to the announcement that it will drop its pricing investigation without reporting on the results.

"The European Commission is very much in favour of solutions which allow consumers to benefit from a truly single market for music downloads,'' said Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes in the statement.

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