Apple Set to Resolve EU iTunes Case

U.S. electronics firm Apple will soon announce steps to resolve European Commission charges that its iTunes stores broke EU rules by setting prices country by country in Europe, people familiar with the situation said on Tuesday.

The announcement may come later on Tuesday or at the latest by Thursday, the sources said.

After that, the European Union competition regulator is expected to announce that it is closing the long-running case involving the pricing of online sales of music and video used in the popular iPod personal audiovisual player.

A Commission spokesman had no comment and a spokesman for Apple

was not immediately available.

The Commission charged in April 2007 that Apple breached EU rules by allowing Vivendi's

Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, EMI Group and Warner Music Group to make it curtail cross-border access to iTunes.

The case dates back to 2005, when the British consumer association Which? complained that iTunes stores in France and Germany charged 99 euro ($1.45) cents, while Britons must pay 79 pence ($1.56), instead of letting all Europeans buy at one store.