As Apple launches its iTunes Music Store in parts of Europe, AOL has announced the extension of its alliance with iTunes into the territory.

AOL first linked up with Apple last December with the launch of iTunes 4.2 which made it possible for US AOL users to purchase iTunes tracks directly through the AOL browser.

The AOL subscriber-service will now also integrate with the iTunes Music Store in the UK, France and Germany, enabling AOL's members in those countries to also access the iTunes Store though AOL's Music channels.

AOL members in the three countries are able to directly access the iTunes Music Store from within AOL Music.

AOL Europe president Philip Rowley said: "AOL is committed to providing our members the best and most comprehensive music services and exclusive content. With the integration of iTunes, they will have one-click access to the pioneering iTunes Music Store."

Apple's vice president of applications marketing Rob Schoeben said: "As we roll out the iTunes Music Store in the UK, France and Germany, we are also pleased to be expanding our relationship with AOL. By joining forces, we are making it easy for AOL Members to preview and buy music from the iTunes Music Store as a natural extension of their AOL Music experience."

To celebrate the launch in Europe AOL is offering members a chance to win one of 29 iPod minis or a 40GB iPod and a certificate that will entitle them to 1,000 free songs.

AOL UK recently agreed a licence with UK artist royalty agencies the MCPS-PRS Alliance. This allows AOL UK to provide a "comprehensive online music content service," AOL said. The agreement grants AOL access to "around ten million" songs and clears the requisite composer and publisher rights required to offer music online.

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