Fans of streaming music service Spotify might not want to read this story. The last time Apple bought such a company, it lived on for about six months before being unceremoniously shuttered. Hopefully if a rumored buyout of Spotify does go through, the service will face a happier outcome than Lala did earlier this year.
The rumor of early stage talks between Apple and Spotify comes via Techcrunch, so it's probably worth grabbing a big hunk of salt to go with it. According to Michael Arrington's source, Google nearly bought the music streaming service last year for US$1 billion, but the parties couldn't come to terms on grandfathering the existing licensing deals with the music labels.
There have been rumors that Apple would add a music subscription service to iTunes for several years, and the imminent launch of the company's North Carolina data center have accelerated those rumors. Previously Lala was expected to be the basis of a subscription plan, but that has gone nowhere yet. Apple and Spotify apparently aren't even at the stage of talking price or terms yet, so this may not go anywhere... assuming that they are even actually talking.