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Did Apple Pay $4.5 Million for an iTunes Cloud Domain?

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It was only two weeks ago that Cupertino posted a want ad that suggested development is underway for a cloud-based iTunes. Looking to gain some ground against Amazon's new service and recent moves made by Google Music, Apple sought to assemble a team in charge of "building the future of cloud services at Apple." Not two days later, it was revealed that Apple even poached Kevin Timmons -- Microsoft's General Manager of its Datacenter Services -- to fill a leadership position at Apple's data center in North Carolina -- rumored to be the central storage location for a cloud-based iTunes.

And now, the company is rumored to be maintaining that momentum by buying the domain

Speaking with an anonymous tipster, GigaOm's Om Malik reports that Xcerion -- the Sweden-based company behind the cloud-storage service -- sold its domain name to Apple for $4.5 million. "Xcerion's iCloud service has just been rebranded to CloudMe, and the company acquired the domain on April 5, 2011," Malik writes.

It's assumed that Xcerion made the switch to make room for Apple's iCloud service.

Adding validity to the rumor, TechCrunch also received a tip regarding the sale to Apple. But when asked, Xcerion refused to confirm the purchase. TechCrunch's Robin Wauters concludes, "I have a feeling Xcerion didn't respond to the question whether the purchase happened because they signed a confidentiality agreement with the Cupertino computer giant."

Wauters adds, however, that the sale doesn't necessarily guarantee the cloud-based iTunes or online storage locker will bear the name iCloud -- referencing a similar instance when the iPad was thought to be called iSlate.

Either way, storing our iTunes libraries online within the next few months seems likelier than ever.

(See also: Apple Adds Drama to Its New Data Center and New Apple Job Hints at Cloud-Based iTunes)
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