NEW YORK, July 2 (UPI) -- Universal Music Group has told Apple Inc. it won't renew its contract to sell music through iTunes, a published report said Monday.
The world's biggest music corporation said it would instead market music to Apple "at will," which could let the unit of French conglomerate Vivendi SA remove its songs from the iTunes service on short notice if the two sides disagree on pricing or other terms, The New York Times reported.
If Universal pulls its catalog, iTunes would lose access to one in every three new releases sold in the United States, Nielsen SoundScan data said.
Universal and Apple representatives declined to comment.
The move, following a negotiations standoff, reflects a boiling over of long-simmering tensions between Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs and the major record labels, the Times said.
The labels reportedly don't like iTunes' near-monopoly in the digital sector and are particularly upset about Jobs's stance on song pricing and the iPod's lack of compatibility with music services other than iTunes, the newspaper said.