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European Commission OKs Apple's $3B purchase of Beats

post #1 of 47
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The legislative arm of the European Union ruled on Monday that Apple is allowed to acquire Beats, the premium headphone maker it plans to acquire for $3 billion, as the agreement would not be detrimental to consumers in the organization's eyes.




The European Commission issued a press release to say that the Apple-Beats deal cleared under the EU Merger Regulation legislation. The goal of the EU's merger policies is to examine such deals and "prevent harmful effects on competition."

The commission said on Monday that although both Beats and Apple sell headphones in Europe, their combined market share is low and the two companies are not close competitors. The EU noted that headphones from Apple and Beats "differ markedly in functionality and design."

It was also said that major headphone competitors, such as Bose, Sennheiser and Sony, would remain in the marketplace after the Apple-Beats deal closes.

But Apple's $3-billion buyout of Beats isn't just about headphones, as the iPhone maker has also acquired the on-demand streaming music service Beats Music. That service has yet to launch in Europe, which the commission oversees. Apple does have iTunes and iTunes Radio, but neither are directly similar to Beats Music.

"The Commission concluded that Apple faces several competitors in the (European Economic Area) such as Spotify and Deezer, making it implausible that the acquisition of a smaller streaming service that is not active in the EEA would lead to anticompetitive effects," it said. "The Commission also concluded that the transaction would not give Apple the ability and incentive to shut out competing streaming services from access to iOS, Apple's operating system for mobile devices."

The Apple-Beats deal is still pending U.S. regulatory approval, but is not expected to receive much resistance. As part of the agreement, Apple has said it will keep the Beats Music app available for other platforms, including Android and Windows Phone, which would be Apple's first such apps for competing phones.

Apple announced in May that it will buy Beats Electronics, which makes premium headphones, as well as the Beats Audio on-demand music streaming service for a combined $3 billion. As part of the deal, company co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre will become employees of Apple.

Apple expects the deal to close in its fiscal fourth quarter, which concludes in September, pending regulatory approval.
post #2 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The legislative arm of the European Union ruled on Monday that Apple is allowed to acquire Beats, the premium headphone maker it plans to acquire for $3 billion, as the agreement would not be detrimental to consumers in the organization's eyes.

Why they would think that beats me.
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post #3 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Why they would think that beats me.

People should get beaten for jokes like that.
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post #4 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Why they would think that beats me.

People should get beaten for jokes like that.

Oh yeah? Why don't you try to beat me, I'm all ears.
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post #5 of 47

AWESOME.

 

Can't wait till Apple gains control and improves the tech in the headphones. 

Beats has the look down, but needs help on the tech side.

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post #6 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Oh yeah? Why don't you try to beat me, I'm all ears.

If your cans were stolen would that be a beatnik? Where is Irwin Allen Ginsber when you need him?
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post #7 of 47
I'm confused. Are both companies not companies of the United States? How or why would Europe have any authority over the conditions or possibility of one company acquiring the other? Does the United States also have a voice regarding mergers or purchases of European companies?
post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post
 

AWESOME.

 

Can't wait till Apple gains control and improves the tech in the headphones. 

Beats has the look down, but needs help on the tech side.

It is not just the look that is important. A guy in front of me on a plane was wearing his red Beats for a number of hours. I could tell he was experiencing a lot of discomfort as he was constantly massaging his ears. I had my noise canceling AKGs on and they were totally comfortable for the entire trip.

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post #9 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

If your cans were stolen would that be a beatnik? Where is Irwin Allen Ginsber when you need him?

LMAO! Did need to look him up, but he was beatfore my time.

Sorry, can't top that, and it would become a Dreg anyway.
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post #10 of 47
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Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I could tell he was experiencing a lot of discomfort as he was constantly massaging his ears.

You're sure he wasn't Ferengi? That's where their YouKnowWhat is located.

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post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital_Guy View Post

I'm confused. Are both companies not companies of the United States? How or why would Europe have any authority over the conditions or possibility of one company acquiring the other? Does the United States also have a voice regarding mergers or purchases of European companies?

Maybe they don't have any authority and are just saying they're ok with it. I'm ok with it too as it happens.
post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post
 

AWESOME.

 

Can't wait till Apple gains control and improves the tech in the headphones. 

Beats has the look down, but needs help on the tech side.


I suppose each to their own with regards to the design of the Beats headphones, personally they are not to my taste.

 

Tacky plastic is not really my thing, that's why I like my Apple products.

 

I wish Apple had bought Bowers & Wilkins, now there is a company that offers quality along with taste and design in spades!

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post #13 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital_Guy View Post

I'm confused. Are both companies not companies of the United States? How or why would Europe have any authority over the conditions or possibility of one company acquiring the other? Does the United States also have a voice regarding mergers or purchases of European companies?

 

Because both companies do business in Europe. New world order my friend, starting with global economic regulation.

post #14 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital_Guy View Post

I'm confused. Are both companies not companies of the United States? How or why would Europe have any authority over the conditions or possibility of one company acquiring the other? Does the United States also have a voice regarding mergers or purchases of European companies?

 

Both have European offices. And yes, the United States has a voice in most large European mergers. As does China.

post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

AWESOME.

Can't wait till Apple gains control and improves the tech in the headphones. 
Beats has the look down, but needs help on the tech side.
Come again? Yeah this is something I totally expect from Apple. 1oyvey.gif

group.jpg?itok=E6HZ0Gt4

If Apple is going to keep the hardware part of beats then I hope they improve everything about it. Ditch the cheap plastic for a start.
post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post


I suppose each to their own with regards to the design of the Beats headphones, personally they are not to my taste.

Tacky plastic is not really my thing, that's why I like my Apple products.

I wish Apple had bought Bowers & Wilkins, now there is a company that offers quality along with taste and design in spades!
IMO Apple didn't buy Beats for the headphones. They wanted Jimmy Iovine and those behind the music service. The headphones just came along because they're the brand and they're highly profitable. But that's why I was never a fan of the Beats deal. To me Beats is what the haters claim Apple is - overpriced and popular because of marketing and design, not because it's a superior product.
post #17 of 47

Apple: Yeah, thanks, Europe; we were really concerned about what you thought regarding the acquisition of an American company by an American company.

post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


Maybe they don't have any authority and are just saying they're ok with it. I'm ok with it too as it happens.

 

The bold is accurate.

 

They don't have any authority over ANYTHING, let alone whether or one US company acquires another. 

post #19 of 47

Premium headphones? You are kidding, aren't you? The headphones are designed to compensate for the awfully bad chip used in i devices. Sonically, the only half decent i device ever made by Apple were the original iPod Classics. Plug any contemporary i device into a Hi-Fi system and compare AIFF or Apple Lossless to the original CD and you'll hear how lacking in sound quality the i device is.

post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

Apple: Yeah, thanks, Europe; we were really concerned about what you thought regarding the acquisition of an American company that does business in Europe by an American company that also does business and have offices in Europe.

post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

IMO Apple didn't buy Beats for the headphones.

Tim said the purchase was for the hardware as well as the streaming and Jimmy/Dre. I don't expect them to market the products in the same way as Beats, they'll do it Apple style.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

To me Beats is what the haters claim Apple is - overpriced and popular because of marketing and design, not because it's a superior product.

They have superior design. They are the coolest and most iconic headphones around. You can spot someone wearing beats from across the street, try doing that with Sony, Samsung, Philips, Panasonic headphones. They've achieved what the white earbuds achieved. Nobody else has really pulled that off.

Beats have retuned the audio in the most recent version of their headphones and the reviews are positive:

http://www.amazon.com/Beats-Solo-On-Ear-Headphones-Black/dp/B00IYA2YRK

Some people are never happy:

"The hype around these headphones is ridiculous and I'm literally in shock that Apple purchased a company with such a terrible product. I'm no sound expert, which is what makes it even worse that I can tell that the quality is terrible. Stylish? Yes they are, they're probably the most stylish headphones money can buy (right now), but if you want something cool looking to put on your head you should buy a nice hat. Conclusion: buy a quality pair of headphones for $100 less."

but most of the reviews commend the better clarity of the mid and high levels.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz 
They don't have any authority over ANYTHING, let alone whether or one US company acquires another.

It might have been down to approval of selling the products in Europe though. If they had decided that a takeover of Beat would harm competition in the audio sector from Sennheiser, Sony etc, they might have placed a sales ban or other measures on the sale of Beats hardware in Europe to protect competition.
post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Oh yeah? Why don't you try to beat me, I'm all ears.

If your cans were stolen would that be a beatnik? Where is Irwin Allen Ginsber when you need him?

Om not shure
post #23 of 47
Aww, thank you European Commission. Just for that, I am going to authorize your bailout of Greece.
post #24 of 47

Cripes, this is good news and you guys are still making snarky political jibes.  Really hostile atmosphere around here.

 

Apple didn't need the EU to approve the merger for it to happen, but they did need the EU to approve it if they wanted to do business in the EU, which, like it or not, pretty much equates to the same thing in any rational world; the EU being a huge market.

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post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

LMAO! Did need to look him up, but he was beatfore my time.

Sorry, can't top that, and it would become a Dreg anyway.

I was only five but had progressive tastes even back then 1smile.gif

I'm missing something here ... 'Dreg?'
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post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

Apple: Yeah, thanks, Europe; we were really concerned about what you thought regarding the acquisition of an American company by an American company.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrangerFX View Post

Aww, thank you European Commission. Just for that, I am going to authorize your bailout of Greece.

Regardless of what you think, if the EU had nixed it -- not that they really had any reason to -- the acquisition would/could not have gone ahead without conditions they attached to it being met. As has been pointed out above, any country (or group of countries under a common legal umbrella, such as the EU) can sue for antitrust violations for the anticompetitive effects of revenues in their territory (usually, some share or size threshold has to be met). The combined company would face huge fines for revenues generated in the EU if they did not comply.

 

For example, in the early 2000s, the EU nixed the acquisition of Honeywell (a US company) by GE (a US company), and guess what? The deal was abandoned. http://content.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,166732,00.html

post #27 of 47
I think the GE/Honeywell merger fell over for a host of reasons, not because of what some public servant in Brussels thought. What this shows is the euro weenies take it apron the sleeves to spend euros on whether or not two yank companies can merge or not. And they wonder why there their economies are in the toilet. And another example of how the land of the free has fallen, that it puts up with this posturing, because that is all it is.
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post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Entropys View Post

I think the GE/Honeywell merger fell over for a host of reasons, not because of what some public servant in Brussels thought. What this shows is the euro weenies take it apron the sleeves to spend euros on whether or not two yank companies can merge or not. And they wonder why there their economies are in the toilet. And another example of how the land of the free has fallen, that it puts up with this posturing, because that is all it is.

Read the link is posted. I can give you dozens and dozens that have analyzed the collapse of the deal. Mario Monti's (EU competition commissioner then) response to Jack Welch (GE's CEO then) pretty much killed it. Period.

post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Entropys View Post

And they wonder why there their economies are in the toilet.

As opposed to who's economy? Also, you do remember who caused the problems in the worldwide economy?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_crisis_of_2007–08

"The bursting of the U.S. (United States) housing bubble, which peaked in 2006, caused the values of securities tied to U.S. real estate pricing to plummet, damaging financial institutions globally."

If the US behaved a little more like the EU when it came to regulation, maybe these things wouldn't happen.
post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Entropys View Post

And they wonder why there their economies are in the toilet.

As opposed to who's economy? Also, you do remember who caused the problems in the worldwide economy?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_crisis_of_2007–08

"The bursting of the U.S. (United States) housing bubble, which peaked in 2006, caused the values of securities tied to U.S. real estate pricing to plummet, damaging financial institutions globally."

If the US behaved a little more like the EU when it came to regulation, maybe these things wouldn't happen.

In fairness, the economies of the 'PIGS' countries did go down the toilet, and for almost entirely their own reasons. The US crisis may have nudged it along.

 

That said, many economies in the EU are doing at least as well as, if not better than, the US: Germany (21% of EU economy), UK (15%), Italy (which has come roaring back, 14%), Scandinavia (7%), most of the Baltic countries.

post #31 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
 

That said, many economies in the EU are doing at least as well as, if not better than, the US: Germany (21% of EU economy), UK (15%), Italy (which has come roaring back, 14%), Scandinavia (7%), most of the Baltic countries.

Italy roaring back to zero. ;-)

 

There are very few economies that are really showing any sustainable growth. The US supposedly has 3% growth but it is debatable. The only two counties that come to mind, which have shown substantial growth, are China and Panama at 8% and 7.5% respectively.

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post #32 of 47
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
Regardless of what you think, if the EU had nixed it -- not that they really had any reason to -- the acquisition would/could not have gone ahead without conditions they attached to it being met.

 

Nah.

 
As has been pointed out above, any country (or group of countries under a common legal umbrella, such as the EU) can sue for antitrust violations for the anticompetitive effects of revenues in their territory 

 

So they stop selling in the territory until the mental defectives are voted out or they change their minds. Europe has no control over US companies.

post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


So they stop selling in the territory until the mental defectives are voted out or they change their minds. Europe has no control over US companies.

If we follow that to its logical conclusion, Apple would be doing business nowhere on earth -- including the US, where it's getting screwed over by the DoJ.
post #34 of 47

Policing anti-competitive behaviour is the mark of a mental defective now?

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post #35 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

Europe has no control over US companies.

 

 

In their European operations, sure they do.

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post #36 of 47
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post
Policing anti-competitive behaviour is the mark of a mental defective now?

 

Yep, you still can’t read the English language, which is embarrassing for an Englishman. “Fool me 17 times,” as they say. You know exactly what was written and what it means; there will be no additional clarification for you.

post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

LMAO! Did need to look him up, but he was beatfore my time.

Sorry, can't top that, and it would become a Dreg anyway.

I was only five but had progressive tastes even back then 1smile.gif

I'm missing something here ... 'Dreg?'

My lame attempt at morphing: "become a drag" > continuing with my play of words and Dre (as in Dr. Dre)
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post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
Regardless of what you think, if the EU had nixed it -- not that they really had any reason to -- the acquisition would/could not have gone ahead without conditions they attached to it being met.

 

Nah.

 
As has been pointed out above, any country (or group of countries under a common legal umbrella, such as the EU) can sue for antitrust violations for the anticompetitive effects of revenues in their territory 

 

So they stop selling in the territory until the mental defectives are voted out or they change their minds. Europe has no control over US companies.

showing an appalling lack of understanding.
As beats/Apple are really going to pull out one of the biggest markets in the world. That would be mentally defective!
You do business in the EU, you comply to their rules. Like it or not, it's tough. Just like if an EU company does business in the USA.
post #39 of 47
Originally Posted by singularity View Post
You do business in the EU, you comply to their rules.

 

Which cannot apply to the purchase of an American company by an American company. 

post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Which cannot apply to the purchase of an American company by an American company. 

Unless they want to do business in the EU, which Apple and Beats certainly do because it's a huge market.

 

"Just stop selling there"

 

Yeah, that's realistic.  Thank heavens Apple isn't so ridiculously dogmatic or they wouldn't be selling anywhere.

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