Google Inc is planning to launch an online music downloading service tied to its search engine, the Wall Street Journal reported, a move that would pit it against Apple Inc and its popular iTunes site.
Google's plans are still vague, but it has been stepping up conversations about offering music services online as well as over mobile phones that use its Android operating system, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the company's talks with the music industry.
It was unclear whether Google had signed deals with record labels, the report said, adding that the launch of a music downloading store was still months away.
Google and Apple have become competitors since the launch of Google's Android operating system, a rival to Apple's iPhone.
Google was not available for comment.
(Reporting by Ritsuko Ando, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)