Apple’s Beat Deal Gets Approval

European Union antitrust regulators on Monday approved Apple Inc.’s $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics LLC, the music-streaming service and headphone maker founded by rapper Dr. Dre and music mogul Jimmy Iovine.

The U.S.-based tech giant announced the deal in May in a move that experts said was aimed at bolstering the company’s iTunes music service in the face of strong competition from a stream of upstarts.

The European Commission, the EU’s central antitrust authority, said the merger didn’t raise concerns because the companies’ combined share in the headphones market would remain low, and the merged entity would face strong competition in both headphone and music-streaming.

The deal, for $2.6 billion in cash and $400 million in equity, was the largest in Apple’s history, far surpassing the company’s $400 million acquisition of NeXT Software Inc. in 1997. That deal brought Apple co-founder Steve Jobs back to the company, laying the foundation for its resurgence.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said in May that the acquisition would help the company bridge divides between Silicon Valley and Hollywood.

“We think these guys have a very rare talent,” Mr. Cook said of Mr. Iovine and Dr. Dre—whose real name is Andre Young. “We love the subscription service that they built—we think it’s the first subscription service that really got it right.” Source: Wall Street Journal

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