Amazon starts MP3 price war with 69 cent popular tracks

Used to be that Amazon.com’s 69-cent MP3 section was the digital equivalent of the bargain bin at the record store, full of older tracks in low demand.  But no more, at least not for now.

The Seattle company today started selling best-selling new tracks for 69 cents, down from 89 cents, in a move that many view as the start of a price war. Apple’s iTunes, the dominant player in the digital music download business, sells many of the same tracks — from the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry and others — for $1.29.

If that’s the case, it’s not the first time the companies have been involved this type of battle. But this time it’s on a particularly broad scale, and it comes at an interesting time, as Amazon tries to build momentum for its Cloud Drive digital music locker over the objections of the major music labels.

It’s the latest sign of the budding rivalry between the companies, evidenced most recently by their legal standoff over Amazon’s use of the phrase “app store” for its Android mobile application marketplace.