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Apple Battles French Effort To Open iTunes

Apple appears more likely to pull out of France than bow to government pressures to open iTunes.

In addition to Apple's tough stance against proposed legislation that would require all downloadable music to be interoperable, there are other factors on Apple's side as the company battles legislators in France.

Jan Dawson, research director for Ovum Enterprise Services in Boston, said that several factors driving the push in France are unique and therefore it's unlikely pressure to open iTunes would spread throughout the European Union or to the United States.

"There are some French-specific conditions," he said during an interview Wednesday. "There's a history in France of trying to get everything standardized, to get everything to French standards. You have also got the fact that the main companies involved here are all big U.S. companies."

Dawson said that the French show more resistance to having their markets dominated by foreign companies, especially those based in the United States, than in most other European nations. Since it is even more unlikely the momentum to open iTunes would ever reach the United States, he said Apple would likely just leave the French market if the bill is signed into law.

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