First on TMO - iPod Prices Reduced in Canada After Levy Decision (UPDATE)

by , 9:10 AM EST, December 22nd, 2004

Apple Computer, along with Canadian retailers Future Shop and Best Buy, lowered the price of all Apple iPod digital media players by between US$12 and $20 Wednesday in response to a recent federal court ruling throwing out a levy on hard drive-based devices sold in Canada.

Prices were cut by $25 Canadian (US$20.26) for 20 gigabyte (GB) and 40GB iPod models, and $15 Canadian (US$12.16) for the 4GB iPod Mini. As a result, Apple 40GB iPod Photo is now priced at $649.99 Canadian, $399 Canadian for the 20GB iPod, $529 Canadian for the 40GB iPod model, and $329 Canadian for the iPod mini.

The prices were changed early Wednesday on Apple's online store, as well as the online store for Future Shop.

The Federal Court of Appeal of Canada ruled Dec. 17 that the Copyright Board of Canada had no jurisdiction to impose a levy on digital media devices. In December 2003, the Copyright Board of Canada set a levy on hard drive-based players of $2 Canadian for each recorder with a memory capacity up to 1GB, $15 Canadian for each recorder over 1GB, and $25 Canadian for each recorder with over 10GB of storage capacity.

Lori DeCou, Director of Corporate Communications for Future Shop and Best Buy, told The Mac Observer Wednesday the price reduction was passed along to their customers directly from Apple, who previously was paying the levy.

While the decision will reduce prices of all hard drive-based players sold in Canada, industry experts believe music artists will pay the price in lower royalites while illegal music sharing is still rampant worldwide.

Future Shop is owned by American-based Best Buy Co., Inc.. Future Shop operates more than 100 stores in Canada. Best Buy operates 30 stores in five provinces.