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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,438member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 47
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,155member
    philboogie wrote: »
    Why they would think that beats me.

    People should get beaten for jokes like that.
  • Reply 3 of 47
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,438member
    philboogie wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 47
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,155member
    philboogie wrote: »
    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?
  • Reply 5 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?
  • Reply 6 of 47
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    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.

  • Reply 7 of 47
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,438member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 47
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,438member
    mstone wrote: »
    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.

    400
  • Reply 9 of 47
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,209moderator
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 47
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,108member
    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!

  • Reply 11 of 47
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,819member
    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.

  • Reply 12 of 47
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    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.

  • Reply 13 of 47
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    sog35 wrote: »
    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. :no:

    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.
  • Reply 14 of 47
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    saarek wrote: »

    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.
  • Reply 15 of 47
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

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

  • Reply 16 of 47
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    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. 

  • Reply 17 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.

  • Reply 18 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.


  • Reply 19 of 47
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,209moderator
    rogifan wrote: »
    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.
    rogifan wrote: »
    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.
    pmz wrote:
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 47
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,525member
    philboogie wrote: »
    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
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