Page last updated at 14:31 GMT, Tuesday, 15 July 2008 15:31 UK

UK iTunes shelves music price cut

By Ian Youngs
Music reporter, BBC News

UK music fans were told iTunes prices would be cut by mid-July

Apple has scrapped plans to cut the price of music downloads on its iTunes service in the UK.

Six months ago, the company said it would lower the price of songs in the UK to bring British fees into line with those on its other European services.

A song costs 79p in the UK and 0.99 euros elsewhere. At the time of Apple's announcement, that worked out at 74p.

But exchange rate changes since January mean 0.99 euros now equals 79p, meaning no price cut is necessary, Apple said.

On 9 January, an Apple statement said: "Within six months it will lower the prices it charges for music on its UK iTunes store to match the already standardised pricing on iTunes across Europe."

That announcement came after the European Union investigated price differences between the UK and the rest of the continent.

Wiped out

But since then, the value of the euro has risen against the pound, wiping out the difference.

"The announcement was that we would match the UK price to that of other lower priced European countries," an Apple spokesman said.

"This is no longer necessary as exchange rates have effectively done it for us."

The spokesman was unable to confirm what would happen when the exchange rate changed again, or whether British fans could end up paying more than 79p.

But he said the company wanted to keep the pan-European prices "standardised".

Music fans in Europe still pay much more than those in the US, where each song costs $0.99 (49p or 0.62 euros).

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