The information superhighway is riddled with the corpses of devices that have tried – and failed – to take on Apple (Zune, we hardly knew ye!). But if there’s anyone that might have a shot at competing with Apple, it could be Google. Their Android operating system is quickly becoming a viable alternative to the iPhone, their Chrome Web browser has surpassed Apple’s Safari in usage, and now it looks like Google will be launching its own competing music store before the end of the year. Right now the iTunes Music Store has a 28% share of the download business, while Amazon and Wal Mart have 12% each.
The New York Post is reporting that Google’s VP of Engineering Andy Rubin has been in talks with the music industry’s publishing firm, the Harry Fox Agency, which represents over 27,000 music publishers. While reps for both parties did not comment, if this report is true then talks have gone past negotiating with record labels (or at least they are moving along smoothly) and have moved to discussing pricing and establishment. Google’s launch could prove to be a major threat to Apple, as the Post points out that many in the music industry feel that iTunes has gained too much power and leverage in the digital music download business since its launch.