In the light of the European Commission (EC) no reply to a question about the iTunes store blackout Malta, Maltese MEP Simon Busuttil intends pushing further the Commission on the matter, asking a simple question about a possible breach of the single market.
Dr. Busuttil had noted that although iTunes is a popular online music platform, where many European consumers buy and download music legally, is not available for consumers in Malta. Legal barriers, in particular local copyright laws, is often cited as reasons the ' prevention ' offer their services in Malta.
The Member of the European Parliament had asked whether the Commission would be able to enforce competition law in order to force them to offer their services in Malta, platforms such as iTunes be found enjoying a dominant position in the market for legal music downloads and purchases from the internet.
Also asked about the Maltese law on intellectual property and if you are a barrier to the single EU market for the purpose of receiving electronic platforms such as iTunes.
In its reply, the Commission had noted that in previous anti-trust procedures regarding Apple's agreements with the major recording companies for the iTunes store in Europe, have been established does not breach the rule forbids agreements unduly competition.
The article, which prohibits the abuse of dominance, only Apple was found to be dominant in the first place, the Commission said.
"Even though Apple iTunes is the most popular online music provider in Europe, it is not clear that any one company, including Apple, has achieved a dominant position at this stage, given that online access to digitized music is still in progress and a large number of platforms can provide similar services."
In any case, the Commission will continue to monitor closely developments regarding Apple's trade policies to ensure compliance with the competition rules of the European Union.
Replying to Dr Busuttil's second question, the Commission had said that intellectual property rights recognized and administered by each State in their respective territories. Maltese law does not differ from the legislation of other Member States in this respect.
The permissions that are involved in a music download, for example, the rights of producers, composers, songwriters, singers, musicians and the like, it is important to our creative industries, as well as for the biotic and employment creators. "
Licensing of these rights in a manner that fully exploits the advantages of the single market in the interests of creators and consumers, should also be encouraged, the Commission said.
For this reason, the Commission will present a proposal on governance and transparency of collective licences before the end of this year. The proposal will contribute to a level playing field and a reliable legal framework for the licensing rights to platforms such as iTunes. It will also seek to encourage the development of multi-territory licences for the benefit of European consumers.
However, the EC pointed out that not all online services aim to provide their services across borders and that reasons other than intellectual property involved in their decisions.
In view of this answer, Dr Busuttil planning calls for a more specific question as to whether the Commission considers that it is beautiful Malta consumers can be hindered by purchasing and downloading music from iTunes, or if it considers that a breach of the single market.