The Universal Music Group has told Macworld.uk that they have, in fact, not renewed their long term iTunes store contract. Universal has decided to continue showcasing their music in iTunes 'at will,' meaning that at any time they can pull their music from Apple's download service.
Why would Universal do this? Considering that almost 1 out of every 3 CDs sold comes from Universal, I am sure they want to show their might and put Apple in its place. Will they abandon the iTunes Store? I doubt it, since they make lots of money off of it (though not as much as they would like, but isn't that always the case with the music companies?). This does mean that Universal might make certain music available from other retailers exclusively, something they couldn't do under their other contract with Apple.