iTunes accused of overcharging UK customers | iLounge News

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iTunes accused of overcharging UK customers

“Apple’s iTunes music download service has been accused by the Consumers’ Association of overcharging UK users.

The group accused the service of charging UK-based customers nearly 20% more than those with addresses and payment details in France or Germany.”

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Comments

1

Unfortunately for Apple, this looks like a case where the charge brought against iTunes UK is justifiable, and is a case where they (Apple) will lose should it go in front of the EU.  The argument that pricing is adjusted for each member country’s market won’t go far when it comes to the EU’s prevailing attitude (and more importantly, their own rules and laws) on such matters

Posted by buffalowings on September 15, 2004 at 7:55 AM (PDT)

2

I wish they could do that for the US prices. Nearly every other legal source charges 99p. Even iTunes 79p is nothing like the 99c (55p) that the US pay.

Posted by Graham on September 15, 2004 at 9:23 AM (PDT)

3

as a US citizen, i would like to sue the entire UK for charging me 50%+ more for a beer when i went over to visit than what that beer would have cost back home.

Posted by bugbiteme on September 15, 2004 at 9:42 AM (PDT)

4

Yeah, but the USA and the UK are not part of a Free Trade organisation… (well the same one anyway). By blocking UK customers from buying from other cheaper EU countries they are in breach of EU freetrade laws.

Anyway it’s isn’t our fault the $ has gone though the floor against the £ :p smile

Posted by Hokalus on September 15, 2004 at 9:47 AM (PDT)

5

So much for free marketeers, I suppose.  Let’s see what the EU groupthinkers have to say about this.

Posted by ape on September 15, 2004 at 9:50 AM (PDT)

6

How much of the price difference between the USA and UK is VAT?

How much of the price difference between the USA and UK is due to the record company’s charging more?

What’s the breakdown of the cost? How much to the artist, how much to the record company, how much to Apple?

The difference between the UK and Europe is harder to justify.

Posted by Jacko on September 15, 2004 at 10:00 AM (PDT)

7

I agree with Jacko, most of the over charge would probably be in VAT and (more so) down the record labels trying to get as much out of the UK as possible. They’ve been done for fixing prices before (so I’ve read) and the whole “special edition” thing (i.e 1 or 2 “exclusive bonus tracks” = £3 extra on the price) doesn’t really justify the price difference between the UK and other countries.
I don’t think it’s Apple’s fault, obviously they take their cut too, but the price is lower than other music stores were charging and it’s down to what they can agree with the record companies as they hold most of the cards

Posted by bob on September 15, 2004 at 11:46 AM (PDT)

8

If we let the EU at it the price will probably be 2 euros before we know it. I notice that this story was first printed in a newspaper which publishes the Napster charts which cost 99p a song.

I do object to a lack of free market and welcome a pan european iTunes but I object to the way that this story was presented.

Posted by loGan on September 15, 2004 at 12:25 PM (PDT)

9

So, let me get this straight.  Napster can sell songs at 99 but Apple can’t?  Whats the deal with this?

Posted by daman on September 15, 2004 at 9:18 PM (PDT)

10

It depends if Napster sell to the rest of the EU and how much it charges them. If Napster charge the rest of the EU then it’s fine.
But Apple are charging brits 99p and the french 79p without any justification on costs of distribution or operation.
Also Apple block brits from logging into the French or German iTunes which you simply cannot do in the EU. For commerce a brit is as German as a german.

Posted by Chris Matchett on September 15, 2004 at 9:41 PM (PDT)

11

“For commerce a brit is as German as a german.”

I genuinely don’t know the answer, but is that true? Is VAT harmonised across the EU?

Posted by Jacko on September 16, 2004 at 1:05 AM (PDT)

12

“For commerce a brit is as German as a german.”

I genuinely don’t know the answer, but is that true? Is VAT harmonised across the EU?

Posted by Jacko on September 16, 2004 at 1:05 AM (PDT)

13

i’m in the uk and i don’t feel ripped off at all, by iTunes anyway.  what else can you buy for 79p ? absolutely nothing.  a single over here in the shops costs at least £3.99, iTunes gives me the freedom to buy tracks that would otherwise be unavailable unless you wanted to buy a compilation.  this is basically another example of how inane and overbearing the european laws are.  doesn’t napster and mycokemusic.com charge more that a pound a track ? why aren’t they getting charged ?

Posted by ritchie on September 16, 2004 at 1:05 AM (PDT)

14

Because - to my knowledge - mycokemusic and napster isn’t cheaper in France or Germany.

Apple are making 20p profit cos you live in one part of the EU over the other. That’s illegal.

Posted by Chris Matchett on September 16, 2004 at 2:31 AM (PDT)

15

It can’t be VAT that accounts for the 20% price increase over France and Germany. VAT is 17.5%, the German sales tax is 15%, so only a 2.5% difference.

Posted by Pete on September 16, 2004 at 4:55 AM (PDT)

16

Blimey, you Apple zealots are a marketing mans dream. They just provide you with a suitable barrel (preferably white and branded an “iBarrel”) and you gleefully drop your pants, lean over and get royally f**ked. Again.

Forgot Cokemusic, or the differences between the US and Canada, the simple matter is that 26 miles from England, any given d/l from iTunes costs 20% less.

To all you Americans here, just imagine if the state next to your’s charged 20% less for iTunes downloads than yours. But you couldn’t use that state’s iTunes, cos Apple stops you.

It’s yet another scam.

But then, we’re used to that here….

Posted by DJtheDJ on September 16, 2004 at 4:59 AM (PDT)

17

DJ, thing is - iTunes is the cheapest store in UK. 79p, as opposed to the 99p the others charge.

Napster and co. are more in breach than Apple is.

Posted by Nathan on September 16, 2004 at 5:51 AM (PDT)

18

Nathan, yeah I understand that, but it’s not really the point is it?

Ford (for arguments) sake might be the cheapest car in the UK, but if the exact same model was 20% in France etc but we were prohibited from buying them in France the EU would (and indeed DID) rule against that as unfair…..

As much as I like my iPod, I can see that Apple really play on people’s (misplaced IMHO) loyalty to the brand

Posted by DJtheDJ on September 16, 2004 at 6:06 AM (PDT)

19

Well, if people in the UK want to pay the same .99 euro for a song, then they should have adopted the euro instead of sticking with the £.  Either be a full partner in the EU, or go it alone and suffer these types of consequences..

If Apple and other retailers adjusted prices everytime the exchange rate changed, it would be utter chaos.  That’s one reason why the EU wanted to establish a uniform currency for intra-EU trade.

Posted by JT on September 16, 2004 at 8:34 AM (PDT)

20

But we’ve never been given a chance to make a decision on the Euro thanks to Bush Jr in 10 Downing Street….

Posted by DJtheDJ on September 16, 2004 at 11:12 PM (PDT)

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