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Norway Drops Apple iTunes Complaint

In going DRM free, Apple joined competitors like Amazon and RealNetworks.

Antone Gonsalves

February 6, 2009

1 Min Read

A Norwegian consumer watchdog group has dropped its complaint against Apple's iTunes, which the agency said unfairly tied the music purchased through the online store to the iPod player.

Bjoern Erik Thon, Norway's consumer mediator, said there was no reason to continue with the complaint, since Apple has said it would start selling music free of all digital rights management technology by April. The software, which is used for copyright protection, prevented music bought from iTunes from being played easily on other portable media players.

"We have no reason to pursue them anymore," Thon told the French news agency AFP.

Thon had said he would take Apple to Norway's Market Council, a government agency that can fine companies and order them to change their business practices.

Apple in January announced at Macworld that the company would strip DRM from all music sold through iTunes by April and would also introduce variable pricing. All individual songs had sold for 99 cents each, which was a problem for record companies that wanted to charge more for songs from popular artists.

In going DRM free, Apple joined competitors like Amazon.com and RealNetworks, which had been selling such music quite awhile. ITunes offers a catalog of 10 million tracks from the four major labels and multiple independent labels.

The iTunes store is now the largest seller of music in the United States, surpassing even Wal-Mart.

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