Nordic regulators considering iTunes legal battle
Nordic regulators will meet in Iceland this month to discuss the possibility of legal action against Apple if the company does not agree to loosen restrictions on iTunes Music Store downloads.
The meeting will determine whether consumer rights agencies from Norway, Sweden and Denmark will pursue separate cases or a joint action, although a final decision will not be taken until after talks with Apple scheduled for September.
The regulators want Apple to allow songs bought through iTunes to be played on portable devices other than iPods.
In a letter sent to the agencies at the end of July, Apple defended its practice, arguing that iTunes customers are free to burn downloads to CD, which the consumer can play wherever they choose.
Norway was the first country to query iTunes’ restrictions, with Denmark and Sweden quick to follow suit. However it is in France, where legislators have passed a law that could, in theory, force iTunes to support other players, where Apple has come under sustained pressure to change its business model, but it has steadfastly refused to do. Some commentators believe that it would rather withdraw from these markets rather than abandon the iTunes-iPod tie-in.