Apple is continuing its negotiations with the movie industry to arrange film downloads through iTunes.

Variety reports that a movie download service is likely to debut before 2007, and repeats earlier reports that Apple CEO Steve Jobs is trying to persuade movie moguls to agree a $9.99 per movie flat rate price.

The New York Times adds that Apple has been speaking with executives at major studios, including Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers and Universal Studios "for weeks".

"Jobs has been participating in the negotiations and telling studio executives in Los Angeles that he wants to have a deal in place by the autumn," people involved in the negotiations told the paper.

The report also reveals that Jobs will attend his first Walt Disney board meeting "this month", as he became a director as part of the Pixar takeover deal.

Apple isn't the only company looking to movies to boost market share in the digital media sector. As well as multiple smaller players, IT behemoth Microsoft has also commenced negotiations to sell films online, Reuters reports.

Microsoft hopes to add its own iPod and iTunes competitor later this year.

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