Apple may hold sway on digital music prices for a little longer, as music industry insiders reveal that attempts to force the company to offer variable iTunes pricing have failed.

The New York Post claims negotiations between Apple and the four major labels have reached a critical point, with executives failing to convince Apple to change its course.

Apple is insisting on a single set price for downloads.

Some executives whisper that some labels may pull their catalogues from iTunes. Others suggest they'll continue to work with Apple without a contract - threatening to pull their music at any time they want.

Whatever the outcome, negotiations seem to have been fraught, but with Apple dominant in the MP3 player market and its iTunes store commanding most digital music sales, the company arguably is the digital music industry at this point.

Music executives are reportedly aggrieved at this, as they feel that their product prices are being dictated by a retailer.

Apple argues that to change prices at this point would drive music consumers back to peer-to-peer and illegal file-sharing services.