Apple close to buying Dr Dre's Beats for record $3bn
Apple is close to paying a record $3bn (€2.1bn) for Beats Electronics, sources said, an expensive foray into music streaming and headphone gear that would mark a departure for the usually cash-conservative iPhone maker.
Both companies are hashing out details and the envisioned deal could still fall through, sources said.
Apple is reportedly in the market for a subscription-based music service to complement its 'iRadio' ad-based offering.
Founded by rapper Dr Dre (right) and legendary music producer Jimmy Iovine, Beats Electronics is best known for its 'Beats by Dr Dre' line of trendy headphones that vie with the likes of Skullcandy, Sennheiser Electronic and Bose.
This year, it launched a music service that has won plaudits for its slick design and human music curation, versus the computer-algorithms that determine playlists for most of its rivals.
Beats established a base in Ireland in 2012 by setting up Irish-registered companies despite not having any known operations in this country. Its Irish-registered companies have no employees, but they do have directors based here. Unlike Apple, which is based in Cork city, Dr Dre opted to base his venture in the rural town of Clonakilty.
But analysts questioned whether Beats, valued at just $1bn during its last funding round in September, was worth the $3bn price.
Apple-watchers have speculated that the company that upended the music industry – and today is the single largest seller of tunes – was contemplating a Spotify-like on-demand music service to go with iRadio and iTunes.