Apple buys Beats Electronics for $3 billion

Hip hop’s first billionaire joins Silicon Valley.

Apple has confirmed it will buy Beats Electronics, the headphone maker and recently launched streaming service, for $3 billion (£1.8 billion). Beats co-founders Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine will join the tech giant as part of the deal.

Apple had been expected to cut its offer price or abandon the deal entirely after a video emerged a few weeks back showing Dr Dre describing himself as hip hop’s first billionaire. In the end the deal was done for only $200m less than the original reported figure.

In an interview with the New York Times, Apple boss Tim Cook suggested that Beats’ founders Dre and Iovine were part of the attraction.

“These guys are really unique,” he said. “It’s like finding the precise grain of sand on the beach. They’re rare and very hard to find.”

The move is unusual for Apple, which has rarely splashed out on major purchases like this one, preferring to develop new products in-house rather than buying up smaller firms. But to put the sale into perspective, earlier this year Facebook paid a massive $19 billion for messaging service Whatsapp.

Find out what FACT’s reviewers made of Beats Music, the recently launched streaming service. [via BBC]

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