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AC/DC pacts with iTunes

Vet Aussie act was one of the last major digital holdouts

Australian hard rock band AC/DC, among the last holdouts in the digital marketplace, announced Monday that it had forged an exclusive pact with Apple to sell the group’s entire 23-album catalog on iTunes.

Group had long refused to make any of its music available on iTunes or any other digital service. Even the Beatles beat them into the digital realm, inking an exclusive online deal with iTunes in 2010.

Dating from 1974, when AC/DC bowed Down Under with “High Voltage,” act’s collected works comprise 16 studio albums, four live albums and three compilation sets. Music’s availability at the Apple music store coincided with Monday’s release of “Live at River Plate,” drawn from a December 2009 concert in Buenos Aires.

Albums and tracks are available individually; iTunes is also offering a collection of the band’s studio albums for $99 and “The Complete Collection” of its entire catalog for $149.99.

AC/DC’s official Web site claims status as Sony Music Entertainment’s No. 1 best-selling catalog act worldwide, with global sales totaling more than 200 million albums, with 71 million albums moved in the U.S. alone.

Biggest remaining digital holdout is country superstar Garth Brooks, who has been content to sell his multi-platinum catalog physically since 2005 via an exclusive deal with Walmart.

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