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Amazon UK kicks off low-end price scuffle with iTunes

Hunt for lesser-spotted 59p track begins at Apple store

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Amazon has kicked off what some members of the soar-away press are describing as an MP3 price war, after it slashed over 100 of its top-selling tracks to just 29 pence a pop in the UK.

However, the online retailer has only made the chop to a slender number of its huge MP3 catalogue. The move has clearly been orchestrated to score some big ink ahead of Apple’s decision to change its iTunes pricing structure, supposedly from today.

Amazon.co.uk launched its MP3 store in December, and, as of yesterday the company claimed to have surpassed the five million track mark on its site.

Bigging up the numbers of MP3s sold since launch is a handy way for Amazon to try and steal some thunder from Apple’s price structure change.

From today, customers using the iTunes store, which in the US currently controls 87 per cent of the market according to the research firm NPD, should be able to get their hands on music that is priced at 59p (69 cents), 79p (99 cents) and 99p ($1.29) per song.

But a quick search of Apple’s online music shop carried out by a crack team at Vulture Central appears to suggest that the new three-tier pricing structure hasn’t been brought into effect yet. Or, if it has, then there’s scant evidence that many customers can expect to see tracks subjected to a favourable price drop to 59p.

We’ve asked Apple to clarify what’s going on by providing us with some solid examples of tracks that customers can now buy at the low-end of the tier. Sadly, at time of writing the company’s somewhat flustered UK spokeswoman hadn’t got back to us.

So, what’s your experience? Have you spotted many songs being flogged by iTunes at its new bargain basement price, or are you finding plenty of tracks priced at the high-end of Apple’s new scale? Hit us up.

Meanwhile, Amazon, which doesn't like talking about Apple its competitors, is selling MP3s such as The Killers' Mr Brightside, Norah Jones's Come Away With Me and Florence and the Machine's Dog Days Are Over for 29p each. How apt. ®

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