iTunes downloads to stay at 99¢ each
Apple Computer Inc. has won this round in the battle over prices for music sold through its iTunes Music Store.
The California-based computer company confirmed it has renewed contracts with the world's four largest music companies allowing the company to continue offering songs at the same flat price.
That means songs will continue to be offered at 99 cents each in Canada and the U.S. and 79 pence in Britain.
"We've renewed our agreements with the major music companies and we're pleased to continue offering iTunes customers music at 99 cents per song from a library of over three million songs," an Apple representative said on Monday.
Sony BMG, EMI and Warner Music had been pushing for a variable pricing scale that would demand more money for the most popular songs, while discounting older releases.
But Apple chief executive Steve Jobs argued that the simple price structure was helping to woo consumers onto legal downloading and helping to decrease piracy.
"If they want to raise the prices, it means they are getting greedy," Jobs said in a press conference last year.
The fourth music company, Universal, also inked a deal with Apple, but had not asked for higher prices for its recordings.
Since the creation of the iTunes Music Store in 2003, it has sold more than one billion songs.
Apple controls 80 per cent of the North American market for legal downloading and leads the market in Europe. The contracts with recording companies apply worldwide.