NewsCorp (Fox) says it won't join NBC's iTunes walkout

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NewsCorp., which umbrellas Fox TV, will not pull its television shows from Apple Inc.'s iTunes Store as rival media group NBC Universal has done over a pricing dispute, a company executive said Tuesday.

In an interview with Reuters, NewsCorp President and chief operating officer Peter Chernin said Rupert Murdoch's media group was not in a dispute with Apple, but would like a bigger voice in pricing its shows.

"Right now we have a perfectly good relationship with Apple," he said. "But let me say this, we're the ones who should determine what the fair price for our product is, not Apple."

Some industry watchers had expected NewsCorp and other media groups to follow the lead of NBC Universal, which said last month it would not extend its agreement to sell television shows on the Apple download service because it wanted more flexibility in offering different packages and pricing.

Reuters reports that NewsCorp's decision to keep popular Fox shows such as 24 and Prison Break on iTunes should be welcomed by Apple chief executive Steve Jobs, who is facing growing opposition from media companies over who should mandate the pricing structures for their original content.

Following a standoff in negotiations earlier this summer, Universal Music Group of Vivendi — the world’s biggest music label — said it would not renew its annual contract to sell music through iTunes. Instead, Universal said it would market music to Apple at will, allowing it to yank its songs from the iTunes service on short notice if the two sides do not agree on pricing or other terms in the future.