Apple Computer will not go ahead with plans to cut the price of downloads on its market leading iTunes Music Store in the U.K., explaining that exchange rate changes meant there is no longer any discrepancy between prices in the U.K. and the European Union.

With the cloud of European regulatory action hanging over it, Apple said in January that it would cut the price of downloads sold to U.K. consumers to bring them in line with the prices paid by their European neighbors.

The case dated back to 2004 when the British consumer association Which? complained that tracks sold via iTunes stores in France and Germany were €0.99 (or $1.45 at the time), while the U.K. price per track was £0.79 pence (or $1.56). The U.K.'s Office of Fair Trading referred the complaint to the European Commission. The regulator subsequently issuing a Statement of Objections in April 2007, but the case is now closed.

Since then, fluctuating exchange rates changes have created parity between U.K. and Continental European download prices, the computer giant notes.

Apple had said in January that the new pricing would take effect within six months and bring the U.K. in line with iTunes stores in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and Spain.

At the time of its Jan. 9 announcement, Apple conceded that, because some distribution costs are higher in the U.K., it would reconsider its continuing relationship with any label that does not lower its wholesale prices to the pan-European level within six months.

Consumers in the U.S. and Canada continue to pay considerably less for iTunes downloads, where tracks are priced at $0.99, the equivalent of £0.49.