Amazon's iTunes competitor - Amazon MP3 - will launch in the UK next month, according to reports.

The online music store first launched last year in the US, where it offers around five million DRM-free MP3s from the four major music labels - Universal, Sony BMG, EMI and Warner.

Amazon had previously announced that the service would likely launch in the UK during 2008, and a Telegraph report earlier this summer claimed executives were in London in June to discuss the plans with British record companies.

NMA now claims those discussions are nearing a conclusion, and says Amazon is in the middle of a recruitment drive to build a UK team to support the service.

But Amazon MP3 can expect tough competition in the UK. As well as iTunes, the service will go head-to-head with the likes of eMusic and 7Digital, which announced earlier this week that Sony BMG had become the final major music label to agree to provide tracks to the service.