Whitney Houston iTunes prices hiked by mistake, says Sony

Whitney Houston performs "When You Believe" during the 71st Academy Awards March 21, 1999, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. AFP/Getty Images

Whitney Houston performs "When You Believe" during the 71st Academy Awards March 21, 1999, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
AFP/Getty Images
(CBS) - Whitney Houston fans can have a little closure regarding the price hike of two albums on iTunes, just hours after the singing legend's death Saturday. Sony Music has come out to apologize to fans, saying it was all an error.

After Houston's death Saturday, fans flocked to iTunes to download her most popular tracks. Some savvy users noticed the prices had changed on two albums on iTunes in the U.K. "The Ultimate Collection" went from about $7.85 to $12.50 and "The Greatest Hits" went from about $12.50 to $15.67.

Some disgruntled fans initially blamed Apple and took to Twitter to claim the company was exploiting Houston's death.

"Classy move itunes/Apple. Raised the price of #whitney houston songs upon news of her death," tweeted @PoshChicB Sunday night.

The Guardian later uncovered that it was Sony, not Apple behind the price hike.

"The change happened when Sony Music, which owns the rights to much of Houston's back catalogue, increased the wholesale price of The Ultimate Collection," The Guardian's Josh Halliday explained. "This automatically boosted the retail price of the popular album, although Apple is responsible setting the price paid by music fans."

In a new report by the New York Times, Sony executives acknowledged the price changes, saying a Sony employee in the U.K. made a mistake.

"Whitney Houston product was mistakenly mispriced on the U.K. iTunes store on Sunday," Sony said in a statement. "When discovered, the mistake was immediately corrected. We apologize for any offense caused."

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