Amazon Poised to Take on iPod

The rumor mills have gone into hyperdrive about facing off with Apple's iPod in the digital music market, now the domain of Apple Inc., Yahoo! and RealNetworks. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that talks between the world's largest e-tailer and music executives are nearing their goal, but the stakes have risen since prior speculation stoked a flurry of similar reports last summer.

This time, Amazon is reported to be contemplating its own portable music-playing device, as well as individual downloads and subscription services. Like cellular plans that include the phone with the purchase of minutes, buying an Amazon plan would include the device. "It's about time they did something about the threat to a key business," said Edward Weller, the senior retail analyst at ThinkEquity Partners in San Francisco. "They sell music already; why not bring it up to speed?"

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