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Apple in talks to acquire Beats Electronics for $3.2 bn

MUMBAI: American multinational corporation  Apple Inc. is in talks to acquire headphone manufacturer Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion, making it the largest acquisition in Apple’s history.

Until now, Apple’s biggest deal was its acquisition of NeXT Software Inc. for $400 million in 1997.

As per reports, the details of the deal are still being worked out and if it goes through, Apple will take control of Beats’ hardware business (including its signature headphones) and its relatively new music streaming service, Beats Music. The deal might be announced early next week.

The Beats management team will report to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Ahead of Apple’s expected launch of an iWatch accessory, Beats will also give its designers and engineers access to years of experience in what some see as the original ‘wearable technology’.

The potential deal would also provide Apple with an entry into two growing markets of high-end headphones and subscription music.

Reports further state that acquiring Beats seems like a very odd move for Apple as it already has the means to produce quality audio hardware as well as its own streaming music service, iTunes Radio.

Beats Electronics was founded by music producer Jimmy Lovine and the hip-hop star Dr Dre in 2008. Beats took a $500 million investment from Carlyle in September 2013 that valued the company at more than $1 billion.

Its investors include Carlyle Group LP, Access Industries Inc. and Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group where Lovine has been a senior executive for many years.