"If [iTunes] was forced to absorb any increase in the ... royalty rate, the result would be to significantly increase the likelihood of the store operating at a financial loss - which is no alternative at all," iTunes vice president Eddy Cue wrote in a statement to the ruling body last year. He went on to say that "Apple has repeatedly made it clear that it is in this business to make money, and most likely would not continue to operate [iTunes] if it were no longer possible to do so profitably."
Though it sounds like a bold claim, industry analysts aren't entirely sure as to whether the store will actually be shut down. They added that, with the integration of iTunes into industry consumer goods such as the iPod and iPhone, the idea of entirely shuttering the service is remote. However, they added, Apple is keeping the "nuclear" idea of shutting down the store as an option. Should Apple choose to absorb the rise in costs, they would do so for quite a bit of time, as the CRB's ruling would set royalty rates for the next five years.
Source: TimesOnline via TUAW