iTunes Songs to Stay at 99 Cents
Apple confirmed on Monday that it had reached deals with the four major labels -- EMI, Sony BMG, Universal, and Warner -- to keep prices for digital downloads at 99 cents per song. The news is a major blow for the record labels, which were attempting to force Apple to allow variable pricing in its iTunes Music Store. Apple controls nearly 80 percent of music sales online, according to recent surveys.
Analysts say some of the reason why the record labels may have backed off the variable pricing plans could be due to the ongoing investigation over price fixing by the New York Attorney General's office. Officials have accused record companies of colluding in order to keep prices artificially high. Neither Apple nor the labels have revealed the terms of the deals.