Google on Tuesday refuted reports that it intends opening an online music store and that it plans to acquire Napster.

Google is sticking to its strategy of delivering music-related information via its search engine and providing its users with links to third-party online music stores, the company said.

Napster's stock shot up more than 50 per cent at one point on Tuesday after the New York Post reported in an anonymously-sourced article that Google "is considering an extensive alliance with Napster, which could include an outright acquisition."

Napster's stock closed at $3.12 per share on Monday, but climbed as high as $4.95 on Tuesday, fueled by the Post story. At press time, it was trading at $3.77, up about 21 per cent. In the past 12 months, it has fluctuated between $2.95 and $9.84.

Last week, Bear Stearns analysts speculated in a research report that Google is building an online music store to rival Apple's iTunes.

Making clear that Google hadn't confirmed their speculation, the analysts wrote that they expect the search giant to release a beta, or test, online music store in the next three to six months.