Apple faces test case in Norway

Norway's top consumer advocate is taking Apple to the government's Market Council in a test case seeking to force the American company to open its iTunes music store to digital players other than its own iPod, an Associated Press report said.

Norway is leading a European campaign that began two years ago to get Apple to make its iTunes online store compatible with rivals' digital music players.

'We discussed this at a meeting two weeks ago, and decided that Norway will do the test case,' Consumer Ombudsman Bjoern Erik Thon, quoted by the Associated Press report, said. 'This could have international consequences.'

The council has the power under Norwegian law to order companies to change trade practices, and can also order fines if companies fail to comply, the report said.

Thon said Apple has until November 3 to respond to the allegations, and that the council was likely to decide on the case sometime early next year the report added.

Apple in Norway did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

Thon began pushing Apple to change its system and rules more than two years go, saying the restrictions violate Norwegian law.

Currently, songs purchased and downloaded through iTunes are designed to work with Apple's market-leading iPod players but not competitors' models, including those using Microsoft's Windows Media system.