Norway drops its beef with iTunes

boNow that Apple has changed its tune and allowed the songs sold through its popular iTunes Shop to be compatible with any MP3 player, a Norwegian consumer watchdog group has dropped its official complaint lodged with the Market Council. In the past, songs purchased and downloaded via iTunes could only be played on one of Apple’s iPods.

The consumer advocacy group felt this was unfair and lodged an official complaint with the Norwegian government’s Market Council. But now that Apple has bowed to European anti-competition groups, consumer mediator Bjorn Erik Thon told the AFP, “We have no reason to pursue them anymore”.

The Market Council is a consumer court based in Norway that has the power to levy fines against companies or require them to change their practices if they want to do business in Norway. For months Apple had ignored complaints from European consumer groups who wanted to play iTunes songs on their own MP3 players.

On 6 January Apple finally announced that it was removing its anti-piracy digital rights management (DRM) software that prevents music from being copied to other music players. This is considered a wise move given the steady growth of online music purchases worldwide.