Apple faces pressure from European nations

More European countries are pressuring Apple Computer to open its iTunes Music Store so purchased songs can be played on any portable music player and not just on the iPod, according to an Associated Press report.

The report said consumer agencies in Norway, Sweden and Denmark last week sent a joint letter to Apple, saying the iPod maker was violating their contract and copyright laws with its product usage restrictions.

The regulators had extended their deadline from June 21 to August 1 for Apple to respond, the report said.

The agencies could seek injunctions against Apple, banning iTunes from their markets, the report further said.

However, the agencies were "hoping to establish a joint and constructive dialogue to rectify the situation," the Norwegian Consumer Ombudsman was quoted as saying.

The agencies argued that Apple's system of making its market-leading iPod players the only compatible portable player for iTunes downloads was illegal and trampled consumers' rights, the report said.