Apple may be finishing up deals with music labels in preparation for launching a cloud-music service. (MIKE SEGAR/REUTERS)

Apple has apparently signed a cloud-music licensing deal with EMI Music Group, CNET reported, and is nearing deals with Universal Music Group and Sony Entertainment. Apple is already believed to have signed a deal with Warner Music Group.

If Apple gets the nod from the music industry, it could actually be in the position to launch a cloud-based music service with more features and flexibility than either Amazon or Google.

So while we may have made fun of Apple for being slow off the mark, — they did, after all, acquire the streaming music service Lala in 2009 — the folks in Cupertino may still have the last laugh. When Google’s music service entered its beta last week, Zahavah Levine all but said that the company really wanted to offer users a more robust set of options. And Amazon’s been under fire from labels since it launched its cloud player.

If Apple is finalizing these talks, then it’s in prime position not only to offer a more complete cloud-music service, but also to launch the service at its Worldwide Developers’ Conference on June 6.

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