The deal will result in at least two of the Walkman mobile phones being specially customised for France Telecom's nine European Orange branded networks. That means Christina can potentially reach some 70 Orange subscribers. The first two 'signature' Walkmans - customised for Orange by Sony Ericsson - will include the W300i and the W800i.
Naturally Christina has agreed to provide Orange with some exclusive full track downloads, ringtones and videos. In fact, the deal follows closely in the footsteps of 3 which reached a similar deal with Madonna.
The good news, however, is that the Beast of Redmond appears to be excluded from this arrangement. The Digital Rights Management (DRM) system which Orange and Sony Ericsson will implement is the Open Mobile Alliances DRM 1.0 solution.
Orange promised that it would eventually enable its subscribers to transfer music files downloaded from its Orange World music store to PCs. However, an Orange spokesman told the INQ this would only happen after Orange sorted out this capability with its sister company - Wanadoo (the ISP).
Seperately, the US Department of Justice has been looking into prices charged for music downloads. Mysteriously the typical price in the UK is 79 pence whereas in the rest of Europe it is 68 pence and in the USA it is only 57 pence.
The authorities reckon they have enough evidence of collusion amongst the record labels.
The INQ was amused to find that paparazzi blocked the view of assembled hacks when Christina came on stage to discuss the deal. Only later where the camera-toting crew ejected to make way for the music and mobile Press. µ
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