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Amazon close to sealing deals with record labels to expand cloud music service

Amazon is closing in on licensing deals with music labels for its cloud music service, according to CNET.

Amazon has already reached agreements with Universal Music Group and EMI, CNET said, and is in the late stages of negotiations with Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group.

Sony could not be reached for comment; Warner Music Group did not immediately respond to request for confirmation.

The news comes shortly after Amazon released an iPhone and iPod touch version of its Cloud Player app.

Amazon launched its Amazon Cloud Drive, Amazon Cloud Player for Web, and Amazon Cloud Player for Android in March 2011. Cloud Drive allowed users to upload music, e-books, videos, and other digital media onto Amazon's servers, while Cloud Player allowed them to listen to their stored music on mobile devices or the PC.

After the service's release, however, record labels were reportedly irked that Amazon did not secure the proper licenses, but at the time, Amazon said it did not need them. "We don't need a license to store music," Craig Pape, director of music at Amazon, told the New York Times last year. "The functionality is the same as an external hard drive."

When Google released its Google Music service later that year, it said it had deals with more than 1,000 music labels, including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and EMI, as well as indie labels, like those from Merlin.

Apple, meanwhile, has licenses for iTunes Match, which allows users to store their entire music library in the cloud, or iCloud, for on-the-go access to music from any iOS device or computer -for £21.99 per year.

Amazon did not immediately respond to request for comment.