Technology giant Apple is reportedly set to buy music company Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion, with the negotiations currently ongoing, claims Financial Times.
The deal is still at the negotiation stage and if it is successful, the move will eventually be Apple's largest acquisition. The deal will be inclusive of the streaming music service that was introduced on January 2014, and also its headphones and speakers arm. Both Apple and Beats Electronics have reportedly not commented on the issue yet.
Beats Electronics was co-founded by producer-rapper Dr. Dre and record producer-entrepreneur Jimmy Iovine in 2008, and was branding their products as 'Beats by Dr. Dre'. Initially the company was only making headphones by Monster Cable, and later expanded to make its own products that included noise-cancelling headphones and Beats Pill Bluetooth speaker.
Though Beats products are now sold in Apple retail stores, Beats was in competition with iTunes, after it announced its plans to offer music streaming service with subscriptions. Apple does make a cut here since this was offered via in-app purchases. This service was in direct competition with Apple's iTunes Radio, reported The Verge.
The last big acquisition of Apple was NeXT Computer in 1997, which was how its co-founder Steve Jobs made his way back into the company and became the guiding force, apart from being its CEO. The deal then cost $404 million. In 2011, Apple purchased flash memory maker Anobit, which was its second biggest deal at $390 million.
USA Today suggested that the acquisition is ironic since Beats Electronics was born after Dr. Dre and Ionive complained that the quality of sound was down, due to the influence of Apple iPods.
"For convenience and speed, everyone sacrificed sound. The emotion of the music is almost unrecognizable to what is recorded in the studio," said Iovine three years ago, reported USA Today.