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Wednesday, October 20, 2004, 07:00 am PT (10:00 am ET)

iTunes Australia ready to launch?

An overseas report indicates that Apple is primed to debut its iTunes Music Store in the land of Oz.

Citing music industry sources, a recent report in the Australian Financial Review confidently claims that Apple will launch its long-awaited iTunes Music Store in Australia in the next few weeks.

"While most of the negotiations for the Australian version of the iTunes service have been conducted through the global parents of the Australian music labels, meaning that the date of an Australian launch has been a well-guarded secret, record companies that are based in Australia are said to have finished negotiations with Apple over pricing and terms and are now readying to launch the service."

According to the report, the localized version of the store might sell music tracks for as little as 99¢ a track, Australian. This is far cheaper than the US store, which sells music for US99¢ ($1.35) per track, and below the break-even point in Australia, said to be $1.45 per track.

The accuracy of the report remains unknown, though if true, Apple would be in a position to unveil the music store alongside its new wave of European iTunes music stores, which are set to launch at a special music event on Oct. 26th.