European Union Clears Apple-Beats for Takeoff

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The European Union's antitrust authority has cleared Apple's $3 billion deal to buy Beats Electronics, which makes headphones and offers music streaming services.

PHOTOS How Beats Electronics Came to Be Worth $3 Billion to Apple

The 28-nation bloc's executive Commission said Monday the transaction does not threaten competition because the firms' combined European market share in both fields will be low while facing strong competitors.

Announced in May, the takeover of Beats Electronics and Beats Music for $2.6 billion in cash and $400 million in stock is the most expensive acquisition in Apple's 38-year history.

The move to buy Beats, founded by rapper Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, was widely seen as a bid to counter the increasing threat posed by music streaming services like Pandora and Spotify to Apple Inc.'s iTunes store.

STORY Why Apple Paid $3 Billion to Acquire Beats 

In other developments, Beats' electronics division is being sued by headphone and speaker company Bose, which alleged in a suit filed Friday that the company had infringed five of its patents for noise-canceling technology in its Beats Studio and Studio Wireless lines. The Bose suit has no bearing on Beats' acquisition by Apple.


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