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Friday, September 03, 2004, 09:00 am PT (12:00 pm ET)

Report claims Apple offered Sony an iTunes partnership deal

Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs offered Nobuyuki Idei, chairman and group CEO of Sony, the chance for Sony to come aboard Apple's ITunes Music Store service, the Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun newspaper is reporting this week.

The offer, which was reportedly made when the two met at the Sony Open golf tournament held in Hawaii this January, would have allowed for joint operation of the service, the newspaper says.

"Jobs is reported to have wanted to bring the Sony brand into the service to maintain a competitive advantage over Microsoft, which launched a beta version of its MSN Music store earlier this week."

Neither company provided comment on the story.