Google Moving In on iTunes

Watch your back, Apple. The tech and smartphone giant behind the popular iTunes online music store may not have a monopoly over MP3 sales for much longer. Google is talking with music labels about opening a download store and a digital song locker, a move that intensifies its rivalry with Apple. The store would allow mobile users to play songs on their devices wherever they are. Sources tell Wired magazine that Andy Rubin, who spearheaded Google’s Android mobile operating system, is leading the discussions with the music industry and hopes to open the service by Christmas. As of yet, no official deals have been inked, but music executives are excited at the prospects of increased market competition: “Finally here’s an entity with the reach, resources, and wherewithal to take on iTunes as a formidable competitor by tying it into search and Android mobile platform,” said one exec. “What you’ll have is a very powerful player in the market that’s good for the music business.”