Apple's acquisition of Beats gets EU approval

The European Commission approved the deal, saying there were no overlaps in the products sold and services offered by the two companies.
By Ananth Baliga  |  July 28, 2014 at 10:53 AM
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BRUSSELS, July 28 (UPI) -- The European Commission has approved Apple's $3 billion acquisition of Beats' music streaming and headphone businesses.

The commission determined the two companies did not hold a sizable market share in Europe's headphone segment and the devices they sold were too varied to be considered closely competitive. The deal is subject to regulatory approval in Europe because both companies sell their products in the same markets.

Also under investigation was Beats' music streaming service that Apple is acquiring. The commission ruled the acquisition could go ahead because Apple's iTunes was available in all 28 member states, whereas Beats is currently not available in any EU country.

"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 [Europe] would lead to anticompetitive effects," the statement read.

Apple will now have to wait for regulatory approval in the U.S. and can expect to be cleared for reasons similar to those stated by the European Commission.

Apple struck a $2.6 billion deal with Beats cofounders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre in May. The two Beats employees will join the iPhone maker as mid-level executives, according to Apple. In a recent conference call, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said he expects the deal to be closed during this quarter.

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