European Commission Approves Apple's $3 Billion Acquisition of Beats

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The European Commission has approved Apple's acquisition of Beats Electronics and Beats Music (Via Engadget). The Commission concluded that merger posed no threat to competition as "the combined market share of Apple and Beats Electronics is low."

    In its decision, the Commission noted that the Apple and Beats merger would not negatively effect either the headphone or the streaming music market in the European Union.
    Now that the EU has given its approval, the next hurdle for the acquisition is the United States with regulators also examining the deal and determining whether there are any anti-competitive concerns. Barring any unforeseen issues, Apple expects the $3 billion transaction to close this quarter (Q4 2014).

    Article Link: European Commission Approves Apple's $3 Billion Acquisition of Beats
  2. Plutonius macrumors 603


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire
    Just in time for Bose to try to get money out of Apple :D.
  3. bushido Suspended


    Mar 26, 2008
    wow those are massive, am I the only one whos head / ears doesnt allow those headphones to fit? they always slide of my head, drives me INSANE. in-ears all the way for me
  4. 69Mustang macrumors 601


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    Very true. Bose is well known for being lawsuit happy.
  5. Parasprite macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2013
    Slightly off-topic, but I think if I were to have guessed which company Apple were buying six months ago, I would have definitely guessed Bose and not Beats

    Not based on any value judgement or anything like that. Bose just seem to have a lot of the same ideals and marketing (i.e., minimalistic design, high profit margins, small product line)* and it would have seemed the more obvious way to go.

    *Also probably the whole "reality distortion field" aspect of it. However, I detest the term itself so I avoid using it (fortunately I don't see it used much anymore).
  6. hetrigger macrumors member


    Jul 20, 2011
    Bose is suing Apple/Beats over noise canceling capabilities. They called it patent infringement.
  7. Parasprite macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2013
    For convenience, you can find more detailed documents linked here. They are summarised on 9to5Mac as follows:

    *The above quote has been edited for readability; some content has been omitted.
  8. Karma*Police macrumors 68000

    Jul 15, 2012
    I still don't get this deal. A few million dollars and an executive who should have seen this coming is all it would've taken to get a music streaming service up and running.

    They certainly didn't buy beats for their mediocre headphone technology.

    And if they spent $3B for a couple of guys to help them with marketing, they should've just fired Schiller and hired another proven marketing executive. They would've had billions left over for an advertising blitz for their upcoming products.
  9. leo.andres.21 macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2008
    Centre of the Attention
    Maybe, but that's why there are IEM, which fits your niche :p
  10. Parasprite macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2013
    Apple already had a music streaming service; iTunes Radio was announced 6 months prior to Beats Music. However Beats technically already had the service in 2012 under another name (due to an acquisition).

    Whether or not Apple acquired Beats to add to iTunes/eliminate competition, for their headphone line, or some other thing entirely is still yet to be seen. As of now, Apple hasn't a headphone style other than the earbud/in-the-ear style ones and they may be planning on something involving this (although I personally doubt it).


    I had a pair of wireless headphones that used 4 batteries on one side (very side-heavy), though I only wore them in my flat (for obvious reasons).

    In retrospect, I'm amazed at how long I put up with those without owning rechargeable batteries...or really at all since they were basically rubbish.
  11. Dilster3k macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2014
    Frankfurt, Germany
  12. Mildredop macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2013
    What if European commission hasn't approved it? Apple and Beats are both American, why is it Europe's concern?
  13. krravi macrumors 65816

    Nov 30, 2010
    It is Europe's concern because they *sell* it there. Unlike US where Corporations are free to run wild they have rules!
  14. PocketSand11 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2014
  15. Mildredop macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2013
    So, if the EC said no, would that mean they couldn't go ahead? Or that they could go ahead but they'd no longer be able to sell their products in Europe?

    And does that mean that, along with the US and Europe, every other country in the world needs to approve one company buying another? Seems like a very long process.
  16. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    They did, but it was a Pandora, radio, style, not a Spotify, play whatever you want whenever you want, style.

    The radio style is where the majority of people never were nor ever will be. It's on a decline and services like Spotify are replacing it, plus they're replacing services where you buy the music.
  17. whooleytoo macrumors 603


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    That might be the reason why they DID choose Beats - because they appeal to a different (younger) demographic that Apple doesn't feel they're fully tapping into.

    It must be hard to keep a brand fresh and current over a long period of time. If you don't change then the brand becomes dated and it's difficult to attract new users, if you change too much or too often you risk losing your established user base.

    Buying a brand already hugely popular with younger users gives them a way-in to that market.
  18. krravi macrumors 65816

    Nov 30, 2010
    I think that's how it works. If you remember the antitrust regulations long time ago started in EU against Microsoft for pushing IE over other browsers, failing which Microsoft will be denied selling its products to the EU and MS was fined a huge fine to the tune of 600 million dollars or something.
  19. Mums Suspended


    Oct 4, 2011
    But I do not approve of Apple's $3 Billion Acquisition of Beats.
  20. DJJAZZYJET macrumors 6502

    Jun 4, 2011
    You and me both buddy. :(:(:(:(:(
  21. CarlJ macrumors 68000


    Feb 23, 2004
    San Diego, CA, USA
    • Good or not, Beats headphones are popular. And they sell in Apple stores. Apple cuts out the middleman, gets a better deal. They also get a well-liked starting point, from which they can work on improving the actual sound.
    • They get an up-and-running curated subscription streaming music service, along with the curators. And the deals with all the labels already worked out. And if the deals are exclusive to Beats, well, they have Beats (vs trying to buy just the streaming service).
    • They get two savvy big names in the industry, with lots of contacts, to help them get better deals and get their foot in the door more places (better here being more encompassing usage terms, not necessarily just cheaper). I'm sure there are quite a few lesser known people in the company who are also in a similar position to hyelp. They'll probably also get opinions/help in making the iTunes Store more marketable to the younger demographic.
    I can totally we why they were interested in getting Beats, I was a little astonished at the price (not that I know what it should have been, just... that's an awful lot of zeros after that 4).

    With Bose, on the other hand, they'd pick up a lot of product lines they're not interested in (speakers and such), that'd be a sort of liability (both as extra baggage and as ending up competing against companies they'd rather be selling in their stores). Apple doesn't like taking on things they don't feel prepared to do well - it's a distraction from their primary focus. Bose has (or had, not sure any more) a lot of seriously good sound engineers on their staff, but all the other aspects of the company would be just baggage. This is the problem with most deals that folks excitedly suggest (e.g. "Apple should buy Sprint!" - yes, they'd get a cell network... along with a ton of existing subscriber contracts with people using non-Apple phones, and a ton of contracts with other phone makers - do you really think Apple would want to take on support of Android on Samsung phones as part of their business focus?).
  22. Worf macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2010
    While Beats' products do have a high profit mention, it wasn't until fairly recently that they were only receiving a fraction of it. Most of the profits actually went to Monster Cable, as they designed, manufactured and pretty much defined the hardware of Beats. Beats' managed to cut out Monster Cable and take further control of the supply chain a quarter or two before Apple acquired them
  23. mixel macrumors 65816


    Jan 12, 2006
    Leeds, UK
    I love around the ear headphones.. They fit much better on my ears than on ear or in ear types. :)

    I guess our heads/ears are different shapes?


    I don't think tech is the issue here at all.

    I see more and more of apple's core "cool" demographic (students and young people) using beats plugged into their iphones/samsungs/whatevers.. Like, absolutely loads of people with beats. It reminds me of the old days of a few white earbuds here and there blossoming into everyone having them. I think part of the acquisition is just to have that marketshare and cool factor.

    Having one of the most popular headphone brands must be fun too, as you can profit off of everyone's phones & players then, not just Apple stuff.
  24. Parasprite macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2013
    If it wasn't clear, I was referring to Bose having a high profit margin, not Beats.
  25. ILikeAllOS macrumors 6502


    Jul 28, 2011
    Tampa Bay
    They didn't just get Jimmy and Dre to help with marketing, they also acquired all the music contracts which they can presumably use in iTunes/iTunes Radio.

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