Apple continues to dip its toe with variable pricing. Citing sources close to Apple, tech blog Ars Technica reports that iTunes will expand its DRM-free music plan, iTunes Plus, with additional tracks from a variety of independent labels. However, unlike the DRM-free music provided by EMI Music Group, these tracks will remain 99 cents. The announcement is expected sometime this week.

EMI's DRM-free tracks currently cost $1.29, in part because they lack protection but also because the files are of a higher sound quality than other tracks sold on iTunes. However Arts Technica reports that Apple has plans to lower EMI's music down to 99 cents as well, although it is unclear whether that move is expected.

It's also unclear at this time whether the price drop will be a result of a new wholesale deal between EMI and Apple, or if Apple is simply sacrificing it's profit margin on the iTunes Plus tracks to get costs in line with DRM-free competitors like eMusic or Amazon.com. Stay tuned to Billboard.biz for more details as they emerge.