MOBILE AUDIO OUTFIT Beats By Dre reportedly wants to buy out HTC's interest in the company.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that Beats By Dre founders Jimmy Iovine and, of course, Dr Dre are trying to buy out HTC so they can replace the Taiwanese firm with a new investor, one that can help fund expansion in the consumer electronics market.
According to the report, Beats By Dre is looking to expand further into the speaker market and is also interested in launching its own music streaming service.
HTC picked up a majority stake of 50.1 percent in Beats Audio in April 2011, in a deal that cost the phone maker around $300m. HTC then began putting the audio technology into its smartphones and placed a Beats Audio logo on the rear of its phones. At the beginning of the partnership HTC even bundled in Beats By Dre headphones with its handsets, although that promotion was short-lived.
HTC now owns just a 25 percent stake in Beats By Dre, having sold back half of its shares in July 2012, which perhaps was a sign that things weren't going well.
What's more, HTC is in a different financial situation than it was in April 2011. While Beats By Dre revenues were about $1bn in 2012, HTC is facing a struggle going forward, with the firm admitting at the end of July that it's likely to post its first ever loss in the third quarter.
Neither HTC nor Beats By Dre has commented on the rumour. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ