A deal is appears to be very close...

Progress appears to be being made in the battle between iTUNES and Europe’s independent record labels, with reports that a deal is near.

Prior to its European launch last month iTunes secured online deals with the five major labels – Warners, BMG, EMI, Universal and Sony – but as yet have not managed to finalise agreements with many of the independent labels.

This means that users can currently not be able to able download music from artists such as White Stripes, Franz Ferdinand, and Badly Drawn Boy.

A source close to the negotiations told Reuters that a deal is “real close” to being reached.

Following the launch of iTunes in Europe, Apple announced music fans in the UK, France and Germany purchased more than 800,000 songs from the store in its first week, with 450,000 tracks sold in the UK alone.