Apple: "talks with Universal still ongoing"
Apple denies having interrupted talks with Universal Music and reiterates that it still has an agreement in force with the record company. What, at least at first glance, appears to be a denial of the information spread over the past two days by usually authoritative sources such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, rebounds directly from Cupertino.
?We are still negotiating with Universal – said spokesman Tom Neumayr -; their music still on iTunes and the fact that they have decided not to sign the result of incorrect information ".
The two newspapers claimed that Apple and Universal had stopped the talks after finding that their respective positions on the sidelines of the renewal of the contract for the sale of music on iTunes were irreconcilable. Among the elements of contrast, the fixed prices for all the songs in the catalog and, probably, Apple's refusal to align itself with Microsoft by granting, as Redmond does with Zune, royalties on the sale of iPods. As a consequence of this, Universal would have rejected the prospect of a long-term agreement and adopted a wait-and-see tactic, supplying music to Apple only in the short term, or on a monthly basis. In this way Universal would be able to cancel the agreement at any time and could operate with great freedom in the field of digital music, for example by providing other Apple competitors with exclusive agreements.
Analysts seem rather skeptical about the possibility of a real divorce. "They are making a fierce face – said Jupiter Research's David Card at the San Francisco Chronicle – but I would be very surprised to see Universal's music disappear from the iTunes Store". According to Tim Bajarin aligned more or less on the same positions: "Is there anyone in the world who can make Jobs change his mind? It is he who has the knife on the handle side in these negotiations "