French law would have ‘minimal’ impact on Apple

The French National Assembly’s vote to open copy-protection technologies on music stores and digital audio devices will have “minimal” impact on Apple, according to Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster. While the analyst believes that the law will be made official by the French Senate, Munster said in a research note that Apple will likely halt music sales in the country. “In our opinion, Apple would prefer to remove itself from the French market than start what could be a slippery slope of other countries passing similar legislation,” he said.
“We believe Apple is more likely to drop out of the French market than open up its FairPlay DRM to allow iTunes to play on competing MP3 players,” Munster said in the research note provided to iLounge. “While this sounds like a drastic move, we believe it would not materially impact business. We estimate that approximately 20% of iPod and iTunes sales occur outside of the U.S. The French market alone is likely less than 2% of iPod and iTunes business.”

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