Samsung Dials Up Madonna Deal For France

Mobile manufacturer Samsung will be the official mobile partner in France of Madonna's upcoming album "Hard Candy", which is due out on April 25.

The full album and the video of the single "4 Minutes" will be preloaded on Samsung's music mobile F400. The handset will be released in "early June," Samsung reported, without giving a clear date.

Samsung will also partner with French radio network NRJ on Madonna's May 6 showcase at Paris' Olympia venue.

In other markets, Vodafone and Warner Music International has an arrangement which would see new music and other forms of mobile content from "Hard Candy" be available exclusively to Vodafone mobile customers prior to its general release.

However, in light of a controversial exclusive Madonna release in 2005 which was met with protest from some retailers, "Hard Candy" will be simultaneously available in all bricks-and-mortar and digital outlets in France.

Telecom giant France Telecom's exclusive pre-release distribution deal for Madonna's single "Hung Up" in 2005 ultimately lead to a legal dispute, which French online platform VirginMega lost. The commercial court of Paris ruled against VirginMega after the company responded to the Madonna exclusive by selling downloads without a license from Warner Music France.