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Apple near deal to buy Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion

Apple Inc.Apple iTunes RadioPandora Media, Inc.Google PlayLen BlavatnikThe Carlyle GroupSpotify
Apple apparently wants Beats' headphones, streaming music service. A source says Apple would pay $3.2 billion

Apple Inc. is nearing a deal to buy Beats Electronics LLC, the premium headphone maker that recently launched a subscription streaming music service. 

The Cupertino tech giant would pay $3.2 billion for Beats, according to a person with knowledge of the talks, which would make it the biggest acquisition in Apple's history if the deal closes.

The acquisition agreement has not been finalized, but the companies could make an announcement next week, this person said. 

A representative for Beats declined to comment. Representatives for Apple could not be immediately reached for comment. 

Founded in 2008 by hip-hop star Dr. Dre and Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman Jimmy Iovine, Beats in January launched Beats Music, a streaming music service, to rival the likes of Swedish company Spotify, Pandora Media Inc., Google Play Music and Apple's own iTunes Radio. 

For Apple, the deal would add revenue from Beats' popular, flashy headphones and give it a gateway into the subscription music industry. Last year, Apple launched iTunes Radio, a free, ad-supported streaming service. 

Beats Music charges $10 a month for access to its song library on the Web and mobile devices. The company also partnered with AT&T to offer a $15-a-month family plan. It has not disclosed its number of subscribers. 

Investors in Beats include asset manager the Carlyle Group, Len Blavatnik's Access Industries and Universal Music Group. 

The talks were first reported by the Financial Times.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Apple Inc.Apple iTunes RadioPandora Media, Inc.Google PlayLen BlavatnikThe Carlyle GroupSpotify
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