Hot on the heels of the almost-ran reconciliation between Apple and the Universal Music Group, the music label has issued a statement saying definitively that it will not renew its long-term agreement with the Cupertino juggernaut. All this news comes at the tail-end of an extended negotiation period fraught with leaked info and damage control (mostly from Apple's end of the table). The new arrangement will enable Universal to deal with iTunes sales "at will," thus allowing them to market music freely to other retailers, as well as offer exclusive arrangements with whomever the company chooses. It can be assumed that Apple honchos are not very stoked by this turn of events, considering Universal is responsible for one out of every three records released globally, and this will only increase their ability to control online distribution. Can't be fun to be the Jobs-man today.

[Via iLounge]

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Universal confirms non-renewal of iTunes contract