Apple reportedly in talks to acquire Beats for $3.2 billion

The headphone maker would give Apple another premium product to sell.

Originally reported by the Financial Times, Apple is reportedly in talks to acquire Beats for a whopping $3.2 billion. The rumor has since been corroborated by Bloomberg, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

Apple is closing in on its largest ever acquisition with the planned $3.2bn purchase of Beats Electronics, the headphone maker and music streaming operator founded by music producer Jimmy Iovine and the hip-hop star Dr Dre. The deal could be announced as early as next week, people familiar with the negotiations said, but they cautioned that some details had yet to be agreed and talks could still fall apart.

Beats, in case you're unfamiliar, was originally founded by Dr. Dre and music mogul Jimmy Iovine and sells high-end headphones.

It's an interesting rumor, to be sure, but there are a few facts which should give consumers pause. First and foremost, the alleged $3.2 billion purchase price is astronomical by Apple's standards. Apple has never even shelled out $1 billion for a company before. Consequently, if Apple really does acquire Beats for that amount, it would represent, by a mile, Apple's most expensive acquisition to date.

Another looming question is how headphones might tie, if at all, to Apple's future product plans. As with most rumors, this story raises many more questions than it answers. To that end, it's worth noting that Beats recently launched a streaming music service a'la Spotify.

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