The ballad of the Beatles and iTunes (and EMI, too)

After decades of bickering that's nearly as infamous as the Beatles' breakup, the actual deal that finally united Apple, Inc., Apple Corps and EMI was hammered out in July, the Wall Street Journal reported today.

We touched lightly on this history yesterday, but the WSJ outlined the exact route that EMI and Apple Corps navigated since this summer to reach an agreement, which was then brought to Apple. In Cupertino, Apple began quietly reserving ad space in major publications with only the reassurance that they would deliver the ads to make press time.

Meanwhile, Billboard magazine -- as reported via MacRumors -- revealed that much of the issue post-lawsuit wasn't between Apple Corps and Apple, Inc,, but rather Apple Corps and EMI. Apple and Google vied to be the first to host the Beatles, with rumors of Apple paying a "substantial advance" to EMI floating around.

Regardless, Apple won the race and the Beatles now dominate the iTunes charts ... though none of the albums have yet to surpass the latest Glee album on the charts. The Beatles remain exclusive to Apple until at least January of 2011, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the digital tracks on Amazon shortly after it runs out.