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Sony 'fesses to Whitney Houston price hike 'error'

Albums mistakenly made more expensive hours after diva's death

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Sony Music has finally issued a statement on hiking the price of tragic pop songstress Whitney Houston's albums after her death, apologising for the "error" in the iTunes listing.

On Monday, reporters fell over themselves to reveal that the price of Houston's Ultimate Collection had gone from £4.99 to £7.99 in the UK's Apple iTunes store and her Whitney: The Greatest Hits had mysteriously increased from £7.99 to £9.99.

Both Apple and Sony, which is Houston's label, were immediately vilified as greedy corporates cynically cashing in on her untimely death. Some defended Apple on the basis that it had no control over the pricing for third-party material from its online store, but the fact that the prices remained untouched on other sites - such as Amazon - suggested the increase was by the hand of the fruity tech firm.

Both Apple and Sony refused to comment on the issue at the time, and the prices returned to their previous level on iTunes.

Today, Sony Music finally responded to the hue and cry, blaming a clerical error for the price change:

Whitney Houston product was mistakenly mis-priced on the UK iTunes store on Sunday. When discovered, the mistake was immediately corrected. We apologise for any offence caused.

Quite how the albums accidentally jumped up in cost only on the UK iTunes store and immediately after Houston's death was not explained. ®

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