Marketwatch reported Monday:
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may have finally reached a deal to sell the songs of the Beatles through the iTunes Music Store. The London Evening Standard newspaper reported on Saturday that Paul McCartney has agreed to make the Beatles catalog available on iTunes for an estimated $400 million. The deal would reportedly result in royalties from the sale of Beatles songs to be paid to McCartney, Ringo Starr and the families of John Lennon and George Harrison. Michael Jackson and record labels EMI and Sony Corp. (NYSE:SNE) would also reportedly receive payments because of various ownership agreements involving Beatles songs. Apple spokespeople didn't immediately return calls for comment
Reports on Friday suggested that unnamed sources "close to Sir Paul McCartney" had confirmed that the Beatles catalog would be available online though iTunes and other legal services "within months." However, the claim has been met with a string of "no comments" from the Beatles' own label Apple Corps, and EMI...
Efforts to clear the Beatles' music for digital distribution were long delayed by a trademark dispute between Apple Inc. and Apple Corps., which was finally resolved in February 2007. Speculation about the catalog's arrival online increased following a Billboard interview with McCartney in May 2007, in which he said that the deal to release it was "virtually settled."
Apple Inc. Downplays Beatles 'Speculation'
Tom Ferguson, London
Billboard, March 10, 2008, 10:15 AM ET
Apple reportedly near deal to sell Beatles songs on iTunes
MarketWatch, 1:14 p.m. EDT March 10, 2008