From New York Times:
A bill under debate in the French Parliament may require iPods to be able to play music purchased from competing Internet services, not just Apple Computer’s own iTunes Music Store, forcing changes in the business model that gave rise to the revolution in legal digital music downloads.
The outcome of the debate, which began as an update to French copyright law, is far from clear. But taken to one logical conclusion, amendments to the copyright bill could lead Apple, the market leader, to leave the French music business, said Jonathan Arber, a research analyst in London at the technology consultancy Ovum.
“My gut feeling is that Apple will simply pull out of France if these amendments get through,” Mr. Arber said. “Weighed against breaking their business model for all markets, it doesn’t make sense for Apple to continue operating with the iPod and iTunes in France.”
France is the third-largest digital music market in Europe, after Britain and Germany, according to GfK, a market research company based in Nuremberg, Germany. Downloads in France last year totaled 20 million songs worth $23.3 million, while 4.7 million digital music players were sold, the company said.