We’ve written before in the Bulletin and Report on the difficulties of launching pan-European music services, thanks to the often-labyrinthine licensing system. Now the EU is flexing its regulatory muscles in an effort to change things. EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes says she’s received assurances from French collecting society SACEM that it’s willing to drop territorial restrictions and allow national counterparts to license its repertoire, while EMI is also keen for pan-European licensing. “There is a clear willingness expressed by major players in the online distribution of music in Europe to tackle the many barriers which prevent consumers from fully benefitting from the opportunities that the Internet provides,” she says, while claiming that Apple says if it was able to license rights on a pan-European basis, “it would consider making its content available to all European consumers.” Watch this space.

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