Apple today announced that it has signed licensing agreements with three of the largest European independent music labels: Beggars Group, Sanctuary Records Group and V2.

The move means Apple has been able to add tens of thousands of tracks from independent artists in Europe to its European Music Stores in UK, France and Germany.

At time of writing, the newly added songs seem unavailable on the store – but the tone of Apple's release suggests that these tracks will be made available imminently.

"iTunes Music Store customers in Europe now have access to an impressive catalogue of independent artists including Basement Jaxx, The Crystal Method, Interpol, The Libertines, Morrissey, The Pixies; Prodigy; Stereophonics; Paul Weller and The White Stripes," the company said.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs said: "We're thrilled to add three of Europe's largest indie labels to our iTunes Music Store. We welcome Beggars, Sanctuary and V2 to the iTunes family, and plan to add many more independent labels soon."

“Apple has revolutionized the music industry, and iTunes and iPod are changing the listening habits of music fans at an incredible pace,” said Martin Mills, chairman of Beggars Group. “In the US, some of our key individual tracks are selling in quantities that have been inconceivable for years. We’re delighted that we and other independent music labels are now joining iTunes in Europe.”

“We see this as an opportunity to bring our extensive repertoire to a very active community of music fans,” said Joe Cokell, CEO of Sanctuary Records Group.

“With this agreement, iTunes users will have immediate access to contemporary new releases from Morrissey and The Libertines as well as vintage catalogues from classic artists, including Bob Marley, Black Sabbath and the Sex Pistols.”

“After experiencing tremendous success with the iTunes Music Store in the US we are thrilled to be taking our relationship to Europe,” said Tony Harlow, CEO of V2.

“Now music lovers in the UK, France and Germany will be able to download great music from the likes of Paul Weller, Stereophonics and The Datsuns,” he said.