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Apple appears set to acquire Beats Electronics in reported mega-deal

Atmosphere at the Beats By Dr Dre: Show Your Colours photocall at Covent Garden on November 9, 2012 in London, England
Atmosphere at the Beats By Dr Dre: Show Your Colours photocall at Covent Garden on November 9, 2012 in London, England
Photo by Simon Burchell/Getty Images

Originally reported by the Financial Times late Thursday night, Apple appears set to purchase Beats Electronics in a deal reportedly worth $3.2 billion. The deal was confirmed to USA Today by a source with knowledge of the situation. Both Apple and Beats declined to comment.

If the sale (which could be announced as soon as next week) goes through, it would be the biggest acquisition in Apple’s history. It comes on the heels of declining sales for Apple, thought to be due to the lack of new products in their retail stores.

In Beats, Apple will not only be getting the popular Beats by Dre headphones; but also Beats Music, a music streaming service that was launched earlier this year.

The brainchild of iconic rap producer Dr. Dre and label head Jimmy Iovine, Beats Electronics was founded in 2008. When it was founded, the rationale was ironically the decline in sound quality due to the rise of MP3s; something Apple had a large hand in, between the iPod and iTunes.

"For convenience and speed, everyone sacrificed sound," said Iovine in 2011. "The emotion of the music is almost unrecognizable to what is recorded in the studio.”

According to Forbes, Dr. Dre will become the richest man in hip-hop should the sale go through. Assuming that all goes according to plan, this will actually be the third time that Beats Electronics has been sold. In 2011, 51 percent of the company was sold to HTC for $300 million. HTC’s share was reacquired by Beats last year, for a reported $265 million.