Amazon readying DRM-free online music store?

Oh boy, we're sensing an all-out war. Of course, the tables are slanted mighty heavily in favor of Apple, but it sounds like Amazon is up to the challenge of stealing some of the digital download market share that Cupertino currently owns. According to the UK's TimesOnline, Amazon is ready to "to launch an online music store next month," and while music execs never thought they'd see the day, this service too should have "reduced protection against copyright infringement." In short, the (hopefully) forthcoming service will serve up at least some DRM-free tracks as Apple's iTunes already does, and as expected, a vast majority of the free and clear music will come from EMI and various other "independent labels." Interestingly, it was stated that Amazon hoped to have the service live "by next month," but it was still unclear as to whether it would meet that goal. No word on whether this service will attempt to undercut iTMS' $1.29 per DRM-free track, but a little competition never hurt anybody, right?

[Via ArsTechnica]