The iTunes strudel

Apple is not unfamiliar to lawsuits. If you're The Beatles, an mp3 player with a wheel on, or anything white with an 'i' in its name, it's quite likely you're being sued right now.

Today the Commission has announced the way iTunes sells its music could be incompatible with fair business practices. Selling music at different prices in different countries seems to be discriminatory - and the Commission sure as hell doesn't like discrimination. But iTunes points to music labels who have been restrictive in giving licences for each country, hence the difference in prices.

The integrated music experience that came with the iPod has completely altered the global music market. Buy an iPod and the iTunes software that came in the same box allowed you access to a massive music library at comparatively low prices. iTunes accounts for 70% of the music download market.

Prices could go up (as record labels license more leniently, but expect a bigger cut in return) or down (as the consumer puts their foot down and refuses to pay more than they do at the moment).

Eitherway, it could spell another significant shift in how music gets sold - and Apple is once again likely to capitalise from it.

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