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Apple has previously sought Beats' help in online music streaming

The word on the street is that Apple is set to make its largest acquisition to date, and at first blush it seems like an unlikely pairing. The Financial Times initially reported this afternoon that Apple would soon announce that it is acquiring Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion.

Apple ended the last quarter with $156 billion in cash on hand (only $18 billion of that total is held domestically), so $3.2 billion is merely a drop in the bucket for Tim Cook and crew.

Beats CEO Jimmy Iovine [Image Source: AllThingsD]
 
Beats Electronics is best known for its line of premium headphones (you can’t swing a carry-on bag without smacking someone wearing a pair at the airport), but the company recently launched a subscription streaming music service. Apple reportedly is looking to overhaul its sagging iTunes Radio business, and Beats Music just might be the ticket to improving the company’s fortunes in that arena.

There was even talk in March of last year that Apple actively sought out Beats’ advice in bolstering its music streaming business, so the pairing shouldn’t come as a complete surprise.


Beats Music officially launched on January 21, 2014
 
One would be forgiven for being skeptical of the deal if the Financial Times was the only source for the information. However, following the initial report, The New York Times, Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal have also confirmed the report that the two companies are in active negotiations. 

Sources: Financial Times, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times





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