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Monday, January 26, 2004, 09:00 am PT (12:00 pm ET)

iTunes Music Store Europe could see new delays

The European digital music market continues to remain unconquered as recent comments from Apple executives imply that an overseas launch of the company's iTunes Music Store could be met with further delays.

Eddy Cue, Apple vice president for applications and Internet services, said in today's edition of the NY Times that the company still planned to offer its iTunes Music Store in Europe some time this year, but he declined to give a specific date. "Different prices in different countries, different release dates, there are obstacles we are still sorting through," Mr. Cue said. "They're not insurmountable."

Apple had previously stated that the European service would launch in the first half of 2004, after licensing contracts sidetracked plans to debut the music store last year. To further compound the licensing issues, country specific music release dates and incompatible billing systems are some of the latest hurdles facing the company's plans.