MOSCOW, November 20 (RIA Novosti) – The launch of the Apple iTunes online music store in Russia planned for October and rescheduled for mid-November has been delayed indefinitely, two sources familiar with Apple’s plans told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.
US tech giant Apple had previously held negotiations with several Russian retailers on the sale of iTunes gift cards but the planned launch of the store was so far delayed, a source familiar with the terms of Apple product supplies to Russia said.
“Retailers do not have gift cards at their disposal so far,” the source said.
The delay of the iTunes online store in Russia was confirmed by another source who also had no information on the launch date.
Apple declined to comment on the information.
Business daily Vedomosti reported on Tuesday the iTunes online store in Russia could open in the near future. An Apple partner told the paper the official launch was scheduled for November 20 and iTunes senior executive Eddy Cue and iTunes Europe Director Ben King had come to Russia for the occasion.
Another Apple partner said, however, the launch might not take place as Apple had failed to agree with all the authors of Russian music.
iTunes is the world’s leading music store, offering music, movies, HD TV shows, apps, games, podcasts and books. The online store users can find millions of songs from about any artist, album or genre.
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Any response would likely boomerang on Russia – the partnership between Rosneft and ExxonMobil is a case in point. The United States has hit Russia with a third round of sanctions. This time the Americans went with a higher caliber weapon, targeting Russia’s biggest energy companies (Rosneft and Novatek) and banks (VEB and Gazprombank).