Facing stiff competition to its iTunes mp3 download store from Amazon.com's new download service, Apple is slashing prices on digital rights protected [DRM]-free music tracks from $1.29 to to $0.99 a piece - the same price DRM-protected tracks currently sell for. Last month Amazon.com launched its own online download service, offering both DRM-protected and DRM-free tracks for between $0.89 and $0.99 (full summary). The iTunes price cuts will apply to all music under EMI's label, as well as several independent labels. Apple denied the cuts were a result of increased competition, saying only, "[DRM-free downloads have] been very popular with our customers and we're now making it available at an even more affordable price." In other Apple news, the company said Tuesday its Leopard operating system will go on sale on October 26, and will cost $129 for a single user and $199 for a family pack. The release follows a four-month delay.
Commentary: Amazon Launches Much Awaited 'Amazon MP3' • Amazon's New MP3 Store No Threat To Apple's iTunes
Stocks/ETFs to watch: AAPL, AMZN. Competitors: MSFT, NAPS. ETFs: IAH, XLK, VGT
Earnings call transcript: Apple F3Q07
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