updated 11:45 pm EDT, Mon March 10, 2008
Apple and EMI Deny Beatles
The parties involved in the allegedly close Beatles deal for iTunes have all denied its taking place, according to news from Billboard. The music chart makers warn that Apple Inc. has flatly denied the rumors as "unsubstantiated speculation," while the Beatles' own label Apple Corps as well as its parent company EMI have both refused comment on the matter, seemingly putting an end to claims by British newspapers made over the weekend.
The alleged deal was said to have been worth $402.5 million or more and would have been an unprecedented music deal, though such a negotiation would have required that Apple sell roughly 41 million full Beatles albums just to have earned back the amount without factoring in Apple's ability to profit from the contract. The iTunes operator typically makes about 30 cents from each song, most of which is dedicated to maintaining the store and its network bandwidth costs.
Surviving Beatle Sir Paul McCartney has estimated an iTunes deal in 2008 but has never provided more than a general timeframe, due in part to the complex nature of the discussions. In addition to a now settled complaint by Apple Corps against Apple Inc. for its music efforts, an iTunes deal would also require negotiation with Michael Jackson's firm Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which owns publishing rights that neither Apple Corps nor EMI have.