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Wednesday, August 11, 2004, 10:00 am PT (01:00 pm ET)

iTunes Music Store to arrive in the Netherlands this fall

Apple Computer is planning to launch a version its iTunes online music store in the Netherlands this fall, according to sources and several Dutch media outlets and television news broadcasts.

The Netherlands online store is reportedly on-track for an October launch, around the same time that Apple is also expected to introduce its music download service in Denmark and Poland.

Earlier this week, Free Record Shop launched its own music download service in the Netherlands. The company claims to offer 250,000 tracks and says that the number of songs number will double by year's end. However, the company is aware that its offerings pale in comparison to Apple's much larger music download catalog.

In its battle to fend off Apple's iTunes, Free Record Shop will attempt to distinguish itself by offering exclusive local artists not available from the iTunes catalog, the company says.

Apple is actively attempting to finalize arrangements that will deliver the iTunes Music Store to several European countries this fall, sources have told AppleInsider.

Apple currently offers localized versions of the iTunes music store in the United Kingdon, France, Germany, and the United States.