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In Brief: Amazon may take on Apple's iTunes

Posted by inet - 2006-02-17

Amazon.com plans to launch its own Internet music service to rival Apple Computer's iTunes Music Store, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing unidentified sources.

The world's largest online retailer also plans to sell its own-branded portable music players and a subscription service that would offer deep discounts and preloaded songs to users of its music players.

The company is in advanced talks with four global music companies about a digital music service that could be launched as early as this summer, according to the report. With its history of selling CDs online and its huge customer base, Amazon could pose a formidable threat to Apple's domination of the online music business. Amazon still needs to ink licensing agreements with the four music companies: EMI Group, Sony BMG, Vivendi Universal's Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group, the report said. The report said Amazon may tap South Korea's Samsung Electronics to build its digital music player.

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