Darth Vader on iTunes?

Media conglomerate News Corp., which owns the Fox movie studio, said it is talking to Apple about a deal to sell its films on its service.

By Paul R. La Monica, CNNMoney.com editor at large

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- News Corp., the media conglomerate that owns the Fox movie studio, is in talks with Apple about a deal to sell its films on Apple's popular iTunes music store.

Peter Chernin, News Corp.'s president and chief operating officer, disclosed the discussions with Apple during a conference call with analysts and reporters following the release of News Corp.'s (Charts) fiscal first-quarter results Wednesday.

News Corp. said it is in talks with Apple about selling movies from its Fox studio on iTunes. That could mean that you'd soon be able to get "Star Wars" from iTunes.

Chernin would not give a time frame as to when Fox movies might be available, if ever, on iTunes. He did say though that News Corp. and Apple were having "positive talks," but that several details still needed to be worked out.

Several of News Corp.'s Fox television shows, including "Prison Break" and "24" are currently available for purchase on iTunes. But so far, the only movie studio that is selling feature-length films on iTunes is Walt Disney.

Disney (Charts) and Apple (Charts) announced their agreement in September.

The Fox movie studio has released several big hits this year, including "X-Men: The Last Stand" and "Ice Age: The Meltdown." The company also has a massive film library, which includes the "Star Wars" franchise of movies.

Fox has struck deals with other companies to distribute its films online. Most notably, the company announced in September that it would allow movies to be downloaded from Amazon.com's (Charts)' Unbox service. Other studios, including Viacom's (Charts) Paramount and Sony (Charts), also are selling films through Unbox.

But many analysts have criticized the Unbox service. And given Apple's dominance in selling music and TV downloads, many expect that Apple will eventually wind up being the home for movies from most of the major studios as well.


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