Google to Open Digital Music Store on Wednesday

Tech giant still in talks with major labels

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Hugo Barra, product management director for Google Inc., gives a keynote address during the Google I/O conference in San Francisco
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Google will launch its music store on Wednesday despite ongoing negotiations with Universal Music Group, the world's largest record company. According to the Los Angeles Times, Google is close to landing a deal with UMG that will allow them to sell digital downloads of Universal's enormous catalog – which is about to become even more vast with the company's acquisition of EMI's recorded music division – as part of Google's licensed cloud service. Google already had a deal in place with EMI before UMG purchased the record company last week.

Google's standing with Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment is unknown, but the tech giant has reached an agreement with Merlin Network, a consortium of large indie labels including Epitaph, Beggars Group, Merge and Warp Records.

Photos: Random Notes
Major labels have been wary about signing on with Google out of concerns over copyright infringement, both within their cloud service and in search results from Google's search engines. There is also some question of Google's past success in getting consumers to pay for products.

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