Confirmed: Apple acquires Beats for $2.6B and $400M in stock

Summary:After three weeks of rumors, it's finally official. Apple has acquired subscription streaming music service Beats Music, and headphone maker Beats Electronics.

Confirmed: Apple acquires Beats for $2.6B and $400M in stock - Jason O'Grady
Photo: CNET/CBS Interactive

Apple on Wednesday confirmed it has acquired the headphone maker and music streaming service Beats.

In a press release, Apple said it acquired the company for approximately $2.6 billion in cash, plus $400 million in stock that will vest over time. 

Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre will join Apple as part of the deal, the iPhone and iPad maker said.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter — around September — the same fiscal three-month reporting period when the new iPhone is expected to be unveiled, according to earlier reporting.

The Beats purchase comes after a  leak of the news  earlier this month. The final price is significantly less than the  $3.2 billion  that was originally published by the London's Financial Times earlier this month.

Beats will remain a separate brand from Apple's, and the company will offer both Beats' streaming music and headphones, along with its own branded headphones.

Apple's chief executive Tim Cook said in prepared remarks: "Music is such an important part of all of our lives and holds a special place within our hearts at Apple."

"The addition of Beats will make our music lineup even better, from free streaming with iTunes Radio to a world-class subscription service in Beats, and of course buying music from the iTunes Store as customers have loved to do for years," according to Apple's online software and services chief Eddie Cue.

In Apple's fiscal second quarter in April, Apple's iTunes (Software & Services) division generated $4.57 billion in revenue — up from $4.1 billion in the same period a year earlier, up by Wall Street expectations. It comes as the iPhone and iPad maker is increasingly pushing its services to the cloud in order to generate long-standing revenue from apps, music, and games.

Correction at 9:35pm ET: Apple's Q2 revenue for iTunes was $4.57 billion, not $3.57 billion. 

Topics: Apple


Zack Whittaker is a writer-editor for ZDNet, and sister sites CNET and CBS News. He is based in the New York newsroom. His PGP key is: EB6CEEA5.

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Jason D. O'Grady developed an affinity for Apple computers after using the original Lisa, and this affinity turned into a bona-fide obsession when he got the original 128 KB Macintosh in 1984. He started writing one of the first Web sites about Apple (O'Grady's PowerPage) in 1995 and is considered to be one of the fathers of blogging.... Full Bio

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