Apple Inc. denied reports Monday that record label Universal Music Group did not plan to renew its contract to sell songs on its online iTunes Store.
"We are still negotiating with Universal," Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said. "Their music is still on iTunes and their not re-signing is just not true."
Representing artists such as Andrea Bocelli and Akon, Universal told the Cupertino technology company last week that it did not plan to sign a long-term contract, an industry source said.
Instead, Universal planned to continue its partnership with iTunes at will, letting the record company negotiate exclusive deals with other music services if those opportunities came up. For instance, it could grant exclusive rights to a new song to an online music service for several months before releasing it to iTunes and other retailers. The news was first reported by the New York Times.
A spokesman for Universal declined to comment.
View: San Francisco Chronicle