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Apple is in talks to acquire Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion in what would be the tech giant’s largest acquisition ever.
The deal could be announced as early as next week, reported the Financial Times on Thursday.
If the deal goes through, Apple would acquire the headphone and audio equipment business and the Beats Music subscription streaming service. Executives would report to Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Beats was founded in 2006 by rapper-producer Dr. Dre and producer Jimmy Iovine. It has taken $120 million in funding in the last two years.
In 2012 the electronics company acquired music streaming service MOG for an undisclosed price and began working on a streaming service of its own, code-named Project Daisy.
The Beats Music subscription service launched in January this year to much fanfare, but Billboard reported that the service has had a bumpy first few months plagued by disappointing subscriber numbers. CEO Ian Rogers responded with a blog post arguing that the Beats Music rate of conversion for trial customers had “far surpassed our projections.”
Beats, which combines algorithms and customization to create playlists, competes with Apple’s recently launched iTunes Radio, a free service for iTunes users to create their own stations. Acquiring Beats could signify Apple’s attempts to remain relevant in the streaming music space alongside competition from subscription services such as Beats, Spotify and others.
Apple and Beats did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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