Apple could buy Beats for $3.2B

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) could be in talks to acquire Beats Electronics, the headphone maker and music streaming service, for $3.2 billion, according to a new report.

The potential acquisition would add Beats' popular line of headphones and subscription-based music streaming service to an Apple lineup that already includes iTunes, the world's top music retailer. In 2013, Beats captured 64 percent of the headphone market and was worth $1 billion last year, according to TechCrunch. It dominates the category with younger buyers and displays at thousands of retail locations including mass and electronics chains. 

Citing sources close to the deal, the Financial Times on Thursday reported that an Apple-Beats merger could happen as early as next week. The publication cautioned, however, that final details are still being determined and negotiations may ultimately dissolve.

If the deal goes through, Apple could announce as early as next week.

The $3.2 billion deal would be the largest purchase in Apple's 38-year history. Apple has made 24 acquisitions over the past 18 months. During Apple's recent quarterly earnings call in April, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company was "on the prowl" for potential acquisitions that would further enhance its existing and future product lineups.

Under the supposed deal, Apple would gain control of Beats' audio hardware division and streaming service. The Beats management team would report to Cook.

For more:
-See this TechCrunch story
-See this Financial Times article

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