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Amazon set to launch online music store

Internet retail giant Amazon.com hopes to challenge Apple with plans to sell music without Digital Rights Management and has already approached all the music majors in the past fortnight, aiming to launch its own online music store in May. However, it remains unclear if Amazon will meet its deadline. The internet retailer has been trying, unsuccessfully, over 18 months to break into the market dominated by Apple iTunes, which has a share of about 80%. Amazon originally wanted to launch its own music player to rival the iPod in tandem with the store and held discussions with manufacturers, but these failed to develop successfully. If Amazon's MP3 service does launch as planned, music is most likely to come from EMI and independent labels. Speculation that Vivendi's Universal Music was already signed up to test classical MP3 downloads is understood to be wide of the mark.

News source: Times Online

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