Reuters is reporting that Apple and independent labels in the UK are closer to working out a deal for the UK iTunes Music Store (iTMS). Apple launched the iTMS in the UK this June without the indie catalogs, which make up a significant percentage of UK music sales. TMO reported in June that it was the length of the contract term that was the stumbling block, but Reuters is quoting unnamed sources who say a deal is close. From the Reuters article:
"Itis close, real close," said the source. The imminent signing would end the on-again-off-again negotiations that have kept hundreds of artists signed to a collection of independent labels off the European version of iTunes.
The bad blood seems to have cooled though. The source said Apple appears ready to sign with a collection of the largest independent labels such as Beggars Group and Sanctuary Records. "The hope is a standard deal for the indies will follow," the source said.
There is more information in the full article, which we recommend as an interesting read.