Contrary to a published report, Apple is not talked with Spotify about acquiring the European digital music service, a Spotify spokesman said today.

TechCrunch reported that it received an anonymous tip that indicated Apple had spoken to Spotify about a possible acquisition. The blog suggested it had "dug into" the information and suggested the information checked out.

"Apple and Spotify are in on-again, off-again discussions about an acquisition, but at best it's very early in the process," TechCrunch wrote. "No firm price has been offered, no term sheet tabled. Still, it's interesting that the two are talking."

Spotify's spokesman Jim Butcher said acquisitions discussions with Apple have never taken place.

"We wouldn't normally comment on this kind of speculation, but we wanted to make it clear that we have absolutely no intention of selling Spotify," he said.

Spotify already has a strong hold of the streaming music market and is trying to make the move to the United States. The company's attempts to open a digital music service here have met with multiple delays, but the managers have insisted they will launch before the end of the year.

Two weeks ago, CNET reported that Apple executives had recently discussed Spotify with their label counterparts, voicing concerns about the potential for a free streaming service to cut into already softening download sales. Music industry sources said then that Apple was considering the possibility of launching its own subscription service, but many at the company remained skeptical subscription services would ever work.

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