Apple is reportedly close inking to a deal to acquire the luxury headphone maker Beats Electronics for a staggering $3.2 billion, which would be the company's largest acquisition ever.
The Financial Times' Matthew Garrahan first reported that Apple is nearing final stages of the deal, which could be announced as soon as next week. The audio hardware company was founded in 2008 by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, and quickly gained a following by placing its pricey headphones on the ears of numerous celebrities and athletes. Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal also quickly confirmed the negotiations between the two sides.
If it happens, the move is such a departure from Apple's normal acquisition strategy, — and Beats is such a questionable target — that most tech watchers are scratching their heads this evening.
Apple is indeed in the process of buying Beats, as the FT reported. Next question is why. Story coming.— Peter Kafka (@pkafka) May 8, 2014
I'm certain that this is wrong or Apple as we know it is over http://t.co/5DrCrGKjHB— Seth Weintraub (@llsethj) May 8, 2014
Let's drop $3 BILLION on a TERRIBLE accessory instead of something that is actually innovative, like payments / AI / search— ▵ Jenna Wortham ▵ (@jennydeluxe) May 8, 2014
Actually, one tech and music observer did predict this acquisition, arguing that what Apple is really after is the recently launched Beats streaming music service. But it might have also been an April Fool's Day joke, so who knows what anyone is thinking here.