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Apple Euro music licence win signals mid-June launch?

ITMS coming soon, sources suggest

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Apple could be ready to launch its iTunes Music Store (ITMS) in Europe by the middle of June, sources said to be familiar with the company's plans have claimed.

They reckon that the Mac maker may now have secured licences from the major labels and others it needs in order to open ITMS to UK and other European buyers.

Separately, we've heard the date 4 July bandied about, though since the date is far more relevant to the US than it is to Europe, it seems an odd choice, if correct.

Whenever ITMS Europe launches, it will come after Napster UK, which opened its online store last week, and Sony Connect, which is scheduled to go live on 7 June.

Sony today said it had signed deals with the UK's Association of Independent Music (AIM) and its German and French equivalents, VUT and UPFI. They will contribute to the 300,000-strong song catalogue Connect is expected to offer at launch. By contrast, Napster launched with 500,000 songs and expects to have the total at 700,000 by the end of June. AIM has also signed with Napster. ®

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