Google’s attempt to build an iTunes-killer is gaining momentum with the search giant now speaking to publishing companies after successful discussions with record labels.

Led by Android chap, Andy Rubin, talks between Google and the Byzantine world of music rights are accelerating, with at least one report speculating the search results-linked service may open for business by Christmas.

Google is in talks with the Harry Fox Agency to find out what deals and what rights it can get. The fact these conversations are taking place lends weight to the notion that negotiations are advanced.

The music industry is in a strange place.

On the one hand it feels some sense of gratitude that Apple was able to create a popular digital music service, on the other, labels feel Apple has far too much control over their business. As such they broadly support contenders including Google and Amazon.

Google Music is expected to offer some form of cloud-based music service for Android devices. Its recent recruitment of digital music rights lawyer, Elizabeth Moody, lends substance to this notion.

Moody previously worked at US legal firm Davis Shapiro Lewit & Hayes, where clients include Spotify, MySpace Music and MOG.

Music Week writes: “Rumours have been growing in the past few weeks about Google

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