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European Commission approves Apple acquisition of Beats

updated 10:08 am EDT, Mon July 28, 2014

Clears major legal obstacle

The European Commission has authorized Apple's $3 billion takeover of Beats, according to an official statement. The organization was tasked with scrutinizing any possible antitrust concerns in the deal. In its judgment, the Commission notes that while both Apple and Beats sell headphones in Europe, even their combined marketshare is low, and the companies aren't in close competition. Their headphones are said to "differ markedly in functionality and design."

Regarding Beats Music, the Commission says it's unconcerned. "The Commission concluded that Apple faces several competitors in the [European Economic Area] such as Spotify and Deezer, making it implausible that the acquisition of a smaller streaming service that is not active in the EEA would lead to anticompetitive effects," it writes. It adds that the acquisition shouldn't give Apple the ability or incentive to exclude competing streaming services from iOS.

A European greenlight removes a major obstacle for the merger. The deal is still waiting on approval in the US, but that's generally expected to go through, especially since Apple has made an unusual concession. Differing from many of its buyouts, Apple has agreed to keep Beats Music available for platforms like Android and Windows Phone, which would effectively make them its first apps for platforms outside of iOS, OS X, or Windows. The buyout should be approved or rejected by the end of September, if not sooner.

by MacNN Staff



  1. aviamquepasa

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-22-11

    i wonder what the bureaucrats of the EU have to say here, do the world care? Seems to be like another high-paid group that is occupied in stupidities.

  1. YangZone

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 05-24-00

    The EU is very aware when it comes to companies attempting to rig the (capitalist) system and interfere with competition and therefore hurt consumers.
    Though they, like many others, are probably having a good laugh at Apple buying this Beats junk.

  1. YangZone

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 05-24-00

    And, btw, watch for either Samsung, Sony, Google, Facebook or another big player making a *wise* purchase soon by dropping Zennheiser (a company that makes quality headphones) in the shopping basket.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    YangZone, you may have thought you were joking:

    Samsung moves into Beats territory with US launch of $350 headphones | The Verge

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