Apple has allegedly disqualified entrants in its iTunes contest, Engadget reports.

It appears two entrants collaborated to despatch 3,000 entries within 500 emails. It's claimed Apple has banned the pair from writing to anyone at apple.com as a result, stating that the rules expressly forbid such acts.

However, as a competition it isn't mandatory for entrants to make a purchase. Apple states: "You will automatically be entered into the Promotion by: 1) downloading a song from iTunes (any Free Download Single of the Week will be deemed an ineligible entry); or 2) a free alternative means of sending an email to Apple at itunes100@apple.com via the iTunes Tell a Friend feature (a song download or Tell a Friend email will be deemed an Entry(ies)."

The competition was announced by Apple last week as the number of songs downloaded from iTunes crossed the 95 million mark. Apple is giving away 50 20GB iPods, "one to the purchaser of each 100,000th song downloaded between 95 million and 100 million songs," the company said.

"In addition, the person who downloads the 100 millionth song will receive a 17-inch PowerBook, a 40GB iPod, a gift certificate for 10,000 iTunes songs to create the ultimate music library for their iPod and the opportunity to create their own Celebrity Playlist to be published on the iTunes Music Store. All iTunes Music Store customers in the US, UK, France and Germany are eligible."

Apple has sold 98,412,348 songs at time of writing.