Apple may acquire Beats for $3.2 billion

Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant Apple Inc. is reportedly pursuing talks to acquire headphone maker & music-streaming service provider Beats Electronics for around $3.2 billion (£1.9 billion).

Emerging reports say that the acquisition, which could be announced as soon as next week, will be the Cupertino firm's biggest ever acquisition deal, if completed.

The potential acquisition of Beats Electronics would provide Apple with a stronger foothold in the mobile music accessories business and enhance its online music offerings - the two areas that are expected to see a fast growth in the next few years.

However, some analysts have questioned the reported move, saying Apple already has its own subscription-based music streaming service iTunes, which claimed to as many as 800 million users.

James McQuivey, a senior analyst at Forrester, said, "This is really puzzling. You buy companies today to get technologies that no one else or customers that no one has. They must have something hidden under the hood."

But many others say that integrating the Beats technology into Apple iTunes could engender a totally new list of subscribers for the already popular music-streaming service.

Beats Electronics, which started its subscription-based music streaming service earlier this year and is best known for its headphones, was founded by music producer Jimmy Iovine in partnership with hip-hop star Dr Dre.