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Europe gives Apple's Beats acquisition the thumbs up

Says no competition concerns were raised
Mon Jul 28 2014, 14:58
Apple acquires Beats Electronics

THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION (EC) has given Apple's $3bn buyout of Beats the green light, saying the deal did not "raise concerns".

The EC announced that it approved the $3bn buyout on Monday. In its press release, the regulators said that while Apple and Beats both sell headphones, the merger of the firms does not raise any competition concerns due to the companies' low combined market share and differences in design.

It said, "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," adding that following the deal's completion there will still be plenty of competition from firms like Bose, Sennheiser and Sony.

"In addition, Apple and Beats Electronics are not close competitors because the headphones they sell differ markedly in functionality and design," the EC added.

The European regulators also took a look at Apple's and Beats' respective streaming services, and didn't seem too concerned by those either.

"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," it said.

"The commission also concluded that the transaction would not give Apple the ability and incentive to shut out competing streaming services from access to iOS, Apple's operating system for mobile devices."

While its Beats acqusition has been approved, Apple has a new headache. It was revealed over the weekend that Bose intends to take Dr Dre's headphones company to court, alleging that it infringes five noise-cancellation patents in its products. µ


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