Giant fast food company McDonalds has opted to partner with Sony rather than Apple in a giant online music promotion, the LA Times reports.

McDonalds will promote Sony's new Sony Connect service, the report claims (free registration required). McDonalds will offer its fast-food eaters free music with their fries. The deal "is expected to be announced this week", says the LA Times.

The burger giant is expected to stump-up $30 million to advertise the US promotion, in which its customers will get free songs with "certain menu items".

The report states that Apple and McDonalds had been in talks for a similar promotion but, says McDonalds, "switched plans after a last-minute pitch from Sony".

It's similar in effect to HP's eleventh-hour decision to dump Napster in order to partner with Apple for music service delivery, and underscores how aggressive competition is within the nascent digital music distribution industry, as varying competitors seek to popularize and consolidate their positions.

In an attempt to make itself hip, McDonalds has "hired Justin Timberlake" to appear in its commercials, the report adds.