‘Apple’ is now girding for a showdown with at least two of the
four major record companies over the price of songs on the iTunes
Signs of conflict over pricing issues are increasingly
apparent. This month, Apple started its iTunes service in Japan without
songs from the two major companies – Sony
BMG Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group – leaving artists like
Avril Lavigne, Beyoncé and Rob Thomas out of the catalog because the
companies refused to license their music to iTunes, executives involved
in the talks said.
That gap in the Japanese music market, the
world’s second biggest, is considered a harbinger of what may await
American consumers as the contracts that record companies have with
Apple in the United States come up for renewal early next year.