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It’s Official: The Beatles Now on iTunes

The Beatles have finally landed in iTunes, following years of dispute between Apple and the iconic band’s rights holders and about 24 hours of rampant speculation about what the technology giant would be announcing following cryptic messages posted to the company’s website on Monday.

Apple, EMI and Apple Corps (the outfit founded by The Beatles) issued a joint statement this morning confirming the news. “It has been a long and winding road to get here. Thanks to the Beatles and EMI, we are now realizing a dream we’ve had since we launched iTunes ten years ago,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison are also quoted in today’s official announcement.

Within iTunes, Apple has dedicated the full above the fold real estate to the band. Beyond links to many of the The Beatles popular albums (all 13 studio albums are now available in iTunes), the display features video highlights, The Beatles Box Set and a link to the band’s artist page. The Beatles even appear to now be one of the 2,000 or so artists on Ping, the new social network for music within iTunes.

As of Tuesday morning, The Beatles also dominate Apple’s homepage, with a link directing visitors to a special microsite that has been set up for the band, featuring more Beatles content and videos from an ad campaign that has been designed for the launch.

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