Apple said to be mulling $3.2bn Beats purchase

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Technology group Apple is reportedly eyeing a $3.2 billion (£1.9bn) acquisition of headphone maker and music streaming distributor Beats Electronics.

Sources said the iPhone maker could announce the deal for Beats, which was founded by hip-hop star Dr Dre and record producer Jimmy Iovine, as early as next week.

The potential acquisition would add Beats’ popular line of headphones and music streaming service to an Apple line-up that already includes digital music players and the iTunes store, the world’s top music retailer.

If the deal is completed, it would be by far the largest purchase in Apple’s 38-year history.

Beats was founded in Santa Monica, California in 2008. Its headphones were manufactured by Monster Cable until the two companies parted ways in 2012. The headphones have become a bit of status symbol worn by celebrities as well as audiophiles.

In 2012, Beats bought streaming music service MOG, which it transformed and relaunched as Beats Music earlier this year.