European Commission to rule on Apple's Beats acquisition by July 30Apple will know whether European antitrust authorities will clear its $3 billion deal for headphone maker Beats by the end of next month, paving the way for the acquisition to close before the end of Apple's 2014 fiscal year.
Photo via Paul Stamatiou.
Apple buys Beats
Apple has officially bought Beats for $3 billion, making it the company's largest acquisition ever. Beats is best known for its premium headphones, but also recently launched a subscription music streaming service that was the key to Apple's interest.
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The deadline announcement came from the European Commission earlier Wednesday, according to Reuters. Though there is no word on what the Commission's decision will be — the body could demand concessions if it views the agreement as anticompetitive — a challenge is unlikely.
It is still unknown which agency will review the sale in the U.S. Federal law mandates that Apple report the deal to both the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice's antitrust division, but the two agencies traditionally divvy up investigations between themselves.
Despite Beats's dominant position in the headphone market, Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple expects a swift confirmation from antitrust regulators around the world. Apple chief Tim Cook has said that he believes Beats will add to Apple's revenues beginning in his company's fiscal fourth quarter, which ends in September.
Apple announced the Beats deal late last month, paying some $2.5 billion for the premium headphone business and another $500 million for the nascent Beats Music streaming service. Beats cofounders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre will also come on board as Apple executives, reporting to marketing chief Phil Schiller and services guru Eddy Cue.
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