could shut down its iTunes
music store this week, if a verdict from the US Copyright Royalty Board forces the company to pay higher royalty rates.
A ruling is expected by the board today (October 2) on an application by the National Music Publishers' Association to raise the royalty fees paid to its members on songs purchased from online music stores including iTunes
The association wants to increase rates by 66 per cent, from nine cents to 15 cents per track, whereas Apple
wants a decrease to 4.8 cents per track, reports CNN.
In a statement submitted to the board last year, iTunes
vice president Eddy Cue
said that Apple
would not stand for an increase:
"If the [iTunes store] was forced to absorb any increase in the... royalty rate, the result would be to significantly increase the likelihood of the store operating at a financial loss - which is no alternative at all,
" the statement read.
added that Apple
would have no qualms about shutting iTunes
down if it was not making enough money.
"Apple has repeatedly made it clear that it is in this business to make money,
" he said, "and most likely would not continue to operate [the iTunes store] if it were no longer possible to do so profitably.
Research analysts Piper Jaffray
predict that Apple
will have an 85 per cent share of the digital music market this year.
Credits for the report to Nme.com