Apple U.K. to sell movies on iTunes

No studio deals confirmed yet

LONDON -- Apple Inc. U.K. confirmed that it plans to start selling movies via its iTunes store here, but declined to give a launch date or identify the studios involved.

Apple refused to comment on reports that it is poised to announce deals with Walt Disney, Paramount, News Corp. and Warner Bros. to offer movie downloads for around the same price as DVD rentals.

The studios named either declined comment or could not be reached.

"We've always said that we intend to bring movies to Europe in the way that they are offered in the U.S., but we have not announced any time frame," an Apple U.K. spokesman said.

While such movie titles as "March of the Penguins" and "P.S. I Love You" are available for download in the U.S., British and European users have had to wait around a year longer to watch video fare, and so far only TV deals have been struck.

Recent iTunes signings here include the BBC and ITV, which have made such shows as "Cold Feet," "Brideshead Revisited" and "Inspector Morse" available for download in the U.K.