Thursday, 29 May 2014 08:54

Apple is buying Beats

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It's finally official - Apple is acquiring Beats Music and Beats Electronics.

There have been some on/off rumours circulating this week, but as predicted Apple has agreed to purchase the Beats Music streaming service and headphone maker Beats Electronics.

Despite some suggestions in the last few days that the transaction would be for much less than the US$3.2 billion originally mentioned by the Financial Times, it turns out that publication was within 10% of the truth: the pricetag was US$3 billion, comprising approximately US$2.6 billion upfront and another US$400 million over time.

If the deal goes through - barring problems with regulatory approvals it is expected to close by the end of September - Beats will be Apple's largest-ever acquisition.

The rumours that Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre would join Apple turned out to be true, though Apple's statement did not mention the roles they will play at the company.

"I've always known in my heart that Beats belonged with Apple," said Mr Iovine. "The idea when we started the company was inspired by Apple's unmatched ability to marry culture and technology. Apple's deep commitment to music fans, artists, songwriters and the music industry is something special."

“Music is such an important part of Apple’s DNA and always will be,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services, overlooking the 1981-1991 period when an agreement with The Beatles' Apple Corps kept Apple Computer (as it was then known) out of the music business. But then Apple is not a company that likes to look back.

"The addition of Beats will make our music lineup even better, from free streaming with iTunes Radio to a world-class subscription service in Beats, and of course buying music from the iTunes Store as customers have loved to do for years," Mr Cue added.

Beats hardware will be sold through the online Apple Store, physical Apple Stores and some Apple authorised retailers, company officials stated.


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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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