The new iTunes Music Stores in the United Kingdom, France and Germany have registered more than 800,000 combined download sales since launching June 15, Apple Computers claims today (June 23).

The new iTunes Music Stores in the United Kingdom, France and Germany have registered more than 800,000 combined download sales since launching June 15, Apple Computers claims today (June 23).

In the U.K. alone, iTunes's first week of business generated more than 450,000 download sales, according to the computer giant. In comparison, the British Phonographic Industry recently reported that the entire British legitimate digital music market generated 500,000 download sales in the first half of 2004.

In a statement, Apple CEO Steve Jobs claims that the U.K. figure is nearly 16 times greater than last week's sales in the territory by OD2. Europe's most established download service, OD2 is in the process of merging with Seattle-based Loudeye, in a buyout valued at more than $38 million.

Despite the strong opening-week performance, Apple has yet to resolve its licensing dispute with European independent labels. As previously reported, the indies were unhappy with the terms of the licensing deal Apple proposed. During yesterday's annual general meeting, Alison Wenham, chairman/CEO of London based independent labels trade body AIM urged its members to hold firm in the current negotiation deadlock.

Apple last week reported global iTunes sales of 85 million since the service's launch in April 2003. In its peak week earlier this year, the U.S. iTunes store sold 3.3 million downloads. A pan-European service is expected to roll out in October.