Apple has been in secret negotiations with European countries to finally launch its iTunes video download service. How do we know this? For once thanks go out to a politician.
Jeannot Krecke, Luxembourg’s economy minister, accidentally let the details slip yesterday when nattering with the press. “Apple is going to extend its electronic retail activities in Luxembourg by launching this coming spring its iTunes video platform for the sale of videos in Europe," he splurged. Oops.
He went on to say that Apple execs have been in discussions with Luxembourg authorities “for several months” while confirming the service “will provide full-length television series in various European countries."
In a blatant act of political points scoring he went on to add “The extension of Apple's activities in the Grand Duchy illustrates the continuity of the Luxembourg government's policy, which has been in place for many years, of attracting businesses involving new technologies and electronic commerce." At that point a giant cartoon cane hooked him around the neck and pulled him off stage before anymore damage could be done.
Why is Luxembourg at the heart of all this? Well, its VAT rates are just 15 per cent – one of the lowest in Europe – so Apple sees the teeny country as a gateway into our continent. The laborious process of then negotiating with each individual country becomes more straightforward once you’ve secured a deal with one.
So iTunes video downloads coming to your iPod this summer… don’t even pretend you don’t rip them from bittorrent downloads already ;)