It's by no means the first time, but Sony Music's decision to put up the price of Whitney Houston 's back catalogue within hours of the troubled singer's death at the weekend caused uproar by fans of the 48 year-old who saw the move as a cynical attempt to milk some money from the tragic situation.
Now, the New York Times reports that the music giants have apologised for the move - though it's been muddied by the fact that they've blamed the whole thing on a "mistake." The UK's Guardian newspaper initially reported the occurrence, stating that Sony lifted the wholesale price of Houston compilation 'The Ultimate Collection,' originally released in 1997, meaning that iTunes had raised the price of downloading it on its site from 4.99 to 7.99. Ultimately Sony don't decide what price Apple price the album at, but the move would've been in accordance with maintaining the profit margin the online music retailers already had on the release.
The New York Times has since reported that a statement released by the company read thus, "Whitney Houston product was mistakenly mispriced on the U.K. iTunes store on Sunday. When discovered, the mistake was immediately corrected. We apologize for any offense caused." No harm done then we guess, of course the nature of these things is such that Sony will still likely be sitting on top of a rather pretty cash pile after this coming weekend, sales of Houston's back catalogue set to spike regardless of any so-called accidental price hike.