By: Rizoh

      Universal Music Group, the largest of the four music industry super-powers, has refused to strike a permanent deal to license songs to Apple Inc.

      Although Universal has no plans to stop selling music through Apple’s iTunes store, which is the third-largest retailer of digitized tracks in the U.S., top Universal executives want the freedom to offer exclusive tracks to other Internet retailers that could emerge in the future. According to Billboard.biz, Universal prefers a flexible, temporary arrangement.

      Industry insiders are also speculating that other major companies, like Warner Music Group, could take a similar stand when its licensing deal with Apple comes up for renewal in the next few months.