According to Distorted Loop, Apple is seeking a pan-EU deal for licensing and distributing music through the iTunes Music Store. Rather than deal with each country individually, Apple is seeking to create one iTunes Zone for all of the countries within the EU.
The news is revealed within a series of documents published by the European Union today, following last year’s historic European meeting on pan-European music licensing rights. European Commissioner for Competition Neelie Kroes has welcomed progress made towards pan-European music licensing following discussions in the Online Commerce Roundtable.
This will obviously simplify the distribution model for media delivery among the nations of the EU and allow the economics of scale to deliver more value to EU consumers while saving Apple distribution costs. It will also open new markets for distribution of iTunes content.
At the September Roundtable, all participants recognised the potential for Europe-wide music licensing in the online environment, and that this was hindered by rights generally being territorial and usually licensed for certain territories only.
Currently, it’s impossible for consumers in some countries, such as Poland, Bulgaria and Slovenia, to buy digital music from any iTunes store in Europe.