Thu, 12 Apr 2007 EMI, Apple Corps deal good news for iTunes?

A £30 million dispute between Apple Corp and EMI has been settled, is online music next?

Jonny Evans

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The route seems open for music from The Beatles to appear online following the resolution of a $30 million royalties dispute with EMI.

The Beatles company, Apple Corps., has been in dispute with EMI over claims that the record label failed to hand over £30 million in royalties to the artists.

"I can confirm that we have reached a mutually acceptable settlement and that we are not going to say anything more than that," an EMI spokeswoman told the BBC.

Resolving that dispute appears to have been the swan-song of Neil Aspinall, the Beatles' former tour manager who has run Apple Corps. up until his announced retirement yesterday.

Aspinall, now 64-years-old, is has been connected to the band since before the popular Merseybeat combo got together. Aspinall went to school with George Harrison and Paul McCartney.

News of Aspinall's retirement has raised interest in the iTunes-frenzied media, as speculation rages on any online music plans The Beatles may have.

Plans to release music from The Beatles have been much-discussed – EMI CEO Eric Nicoli recently said: "We're working on it. We hope this will happen soon." But the EMI CEO confessed, "we don't know when it will happen yet."

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