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

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."

beatsheadphones
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.
"The Commission concluded that the combination of the two businesses did not raise competition concerns because the combined market share of Apple and Beats Electronics is low. In addition, Apple and Beats Electronics are not close competitors because the headphones they sell differ markedly in functionality and design. Moreover, even after the transaction, a large number of global competitors such as Bose, Sennheiser and Sony would remain. The Commission also examined the transaction's likely effects on the distribution of digital music to consumers. Both Apple and Beats Music are active in this field. Apple offers a music downloading service through iTunes and Beats Music offers a music streaming service, although it is currently not available in the EEA. The Commission concluded that Apple faces several competitors in the EEA 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."
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).

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20 weeks ago
What if European commission hasn't approved it? Apple and Beats are both American, why is it Europe's concern?
Rating: 2 Votes
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20 weeks ago

Bose is suing Apple/Beats over noise canceling capabilities. They called it patent infringement.


For convenience, you can find more detailed documents linked here (http://recode.net/2014/07/25/bose-seeks-sales-ban-on-some-beats-headphones-claiming-patent-infringement/). They are summarised on 9to5Mac (http://9to5mac.com/2014/07/25/bose-files-lawsuit-against-beats-electronics-over-noise-cancelling-technology-patent/) as follows:

[LIST]
[*]8,073,151: “Dynamically configurable ANR filter block topology”. Granted 12/6/2011.
[*]8,073,150: “Dynamically configurable ANR signal processing topology”. Granted 12/6/2011.
[*]6,717,537 (http://news.priorsmart.com/bose-v-beats-electronics-laLp/#pat-6717537): “Method and apparatus for minimizing latency in digital signal processing systems”. Granted 4/6/2004.
[*]8,345,888: “Digital high frequency phase compensation”. Granted 1/1/2013.
[*]8,054,992 (http://news.priorsmart.com/bose-v-beats-electronics-laLp/#pat-8054992): “High frequency compensating”. Granted 11/8/2011.
[/LIST]


*The above quote has been edited for readability; some content has been omitted.
Rating: 1 Votes
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20 weeks ago

Just in time for Bose to try to get money out of Apple :D.


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).
Rating: 1 Votes
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20 weeks ago
Just in time for Bose to try to get money out of Apple :D.
Rating: 1 Votes
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20 weeks ago
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.
Rating: 1 Votes
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20 weeks ago
Can't believe it's a done deal...
Rating: 1 Votes
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20 weeks ago

But I do not approve of Apple's $3 Billion Acquisition of Beats.


You and me both buddy. :(:(:(:(:(
Rating: 1 Votes
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20 weeks ago
But I do not approve of Apple's $3 Billion Acquisition of Beats.
Rating: 1 Votes
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20 weeks ago

What if European commission hasn't approved it? Apple and Beats are both American, why is it Europe's concern?


It is Europe's concern because they *sell* it there. Unlike US where Corporations are free to run wild they have rules!
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