Apple is negotiating with movie studios to make films available as downloads through iTunes.

The company is attempting to convince the studios to allow it to sell films at $9.99 each. Studios are pushing back, according to a report in Variety: they want to be able to charge a series of tiered prices, just like they do in the offline world.

Apple may face some resistance in forcing studios to agree a one-fixed-price deal. Former Sony Music chief technology officer Phil Wiser recalls that when Jobs was attempting to negotiate permission for the iTunes Music Store he approached labels with a "take it or leave it" proposition.

Movie industry moguls are also wary of giving to much control to iTunes, which has already managed to convince music label bosses to remain with the service despite offering songs at a fixed 99-cent-per-track price.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is attempting to use the huge presence he now has in Hollywood as a result of the Pixar/Disney merger to kick-start these negotiations.

"He came in with a lot of bravado and said: 'We set our mind to what we were going to do in the music business and revolutionised it, and now we want to do the same thing with film," one studio person close to the talks for movie downloads told Variety.

The report suggests movie downloads are likely to debut (at least in the US) "by 2007".

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