Apple to Carry the Beatles on iTunes

Apple scored a big music hit, landing the rights to carry Beatles music on its popular iTunes Store, the company announced Tuesday.

The iTunes store is carrying all the songs from the Beatles original studio albums. In addition, iTunes is also selling the albums as a box set for $149, which includes photos, a video of their live show at the Washington Coliseum in 1964 and a mini-documentary on each album.

For Apple (AAPL), the process has been a long and winding road. After lawsuits dating back to 1978 over trademark issues and violations of trademarks, the company and the Beatles' Apple Corp. finally settled their last round of legal wrangling in 2007, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

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Despite the long-awaited arrival of the Beatles on iTunes, Apple's stock failed to get a pop from the Fab Four's arrival. Shares of Apple dipped 0.53% to $305.40 in early morning trading Tuesday.

One analyst had predicted Monday that Apple's mystery announcement -- hinted at on its site yesterday -- would fail to be a boom for investors, noting that software sales for Apple, which includes iTunes transactions, account for only $400 million to $500 million of the more than $20 billion in quarterly revenues that Apple generates.

While investors may not view the announcement as significant, the two living members of the group and Apple's CEO Steve Jobs offered up their thoughts in a joint-announcement :

We're really excited to bring the Beatles' music to iTunes. It's fantastic to see the songs we originally released on vinyl receive as much love in the digital world as they did the first time around. - Sir Paul McCartney

I am particularly glad to no longer be asked when the Beatles are coming to iTunes. At last, if you want it – you can get it now -The Beatles from Liverpool to now! Peace and Love, Ringo. - Ringo Starr

We love the Beatles and are honored and thrilled to welcome them to iTunes. It has been a long and winding road to get here. Thanks to the Beatles and EMI, we are now realizing a dream we've had since we launched iTunes ten years ago. - Steve Jobs

John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono noted she thought it was appropriate that a deal was struck in the year that Lennon would have turned 70. And citing a refrain from a famous John Lennon song, Ono said: "Give Peace A Chance."

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