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Source: iLike to debut downloads on Facebook app

It's not confirmed yet, but one high-level music industry source says iLike may bring downloads to Facebook via its app as soon as this week.

I don't have it confirmed yet, but it appears iLike is preparing to integrate its new music download store into its popular Facebook application sometime soon.

According to one music industry source, Facebook users may be able to start buying downloads from iLike's Facebook app as soon as this week. Seattle-based iLike and its new parent company MySpace aren't wasting anytime testing Facebook.

On Wednesday, MySpace announced that it had aquired iLike for an undisclosed amount of money. The news that the two sides were close to the deal had leaked days ago, so it wasn't a surprise.

But MySpace appears to be positioning itself to either force Facebook to boot iLike's service and risk a public relations backlash, or allow MySpace, its main rival, to profit off of its audience. The situation has to be a little embarrassing for Facebook managers.

The iLike acquisition isn't going to change much, but it is something for MySpace to cheer about. For a long time, Facebook has thrashed Rupert Murdoch's troops in almost every area.

If nothing else, the iLike deal should help morale inside MySpace.

Months ago, iLike began discussing music licensing deals with the four biggest recording companies. Last week, CNET News broke the news that the start-up's download store was opening.

Something I couldn't figure out when I first read that MySpace was trying to acquire iLike was why did iLike CEO Ali Partovi continue to pursue licensing deals in the weeks leading up to the acquisition. He must have known that MySpace Music already possessed rights to sell downloads. What would iLike need with its own agreements?

But the music licenses acquired by MySpace Music would not have covered iLike. Last year, iLike learned the hard way that every service has to cut its own deals with the labels. The start-up tried to acquire access to full-length songs from Rhapsody, the music subscription service. The labels put a quick stop to that.

So it makes sense that Partovi continued to pursue the licensing agreements even after MySpace's acquisition of the company looked inevitable.

What this says is that contrary to what some sources have told me, MySpace is interested in iLike's traffic and music service and not just on some bits of its technology.