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Norway to take action over iTunes failure

Norway is poised to launch action against Apple over the company's failure to modify its iTunes software to make it compatible with music players other than iPod.

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Norway's consumer mediator said Thursday he would take US electronics manufacturer Apple's iTunes before a government agency for failing to make its online store compatible with music players other than its iPod.

"iTunes has shown a lacking will to comply with our demand and we are now preparing to try this case in the Market Council," Consumer Ombudsman Bjoern Erik Thon said in a statement.

At the end of September, Thon gave Apple until November 3 to respond to his demands that it break the exclusive link between its iPod music player and online iTunes store.

In 2006, Norway was among the first countries in the world to insist that Apple break that link.

Apple has added several precisions to its user conditions, explaining to consumers how to burn songs onto compact discs and then convert them to the MP3 format so they can be played on other devices, but the Consumer Ombudsman has said that is not enough.

"iTunes maintains its previous views in its response to the Consumer Ombudsman. The company is in other words unwilling to make changes to make music in the iTunes Store available to all music players," the agency said in its statement.

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