*Prince’s free album giveaway via newspapers in Europe has led to an international bidding frenzy that has the product selling for more than $20 a pop on the Internet – exactly what the purple one was trying to avoid.

The singer struck deals with several newspapers throughout Europe to give away his new “20Ten” CD as an insert. He insisted it was the right move to circumvent internet piracy and would cause him “no stress.”

But hundreds of copies have gone on sale at various Web sites, attracting bids of more than $20.

One star who won’t be bidding on the record is Elton John – the Daily Mirror, which offered the CD last week, ordered five copies of the paper to be sent to his home by courier on Saturday to ensure he got hold of the album.