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Report: Apple-Beats Still Happening, But for a Little Less Cash

The Apple logo hangs inside the glass entrance to the Apple Store on 5th Avenue in New York City.
Mike Segar—Reuters The Apple logo hangs inside the glass entrance to the Apple Store on 5th Avenue in New York City.

Apple’s rumored acquisition of Beats may finally become official this week, unnamed sources tell the New York Post.

But instead of paying $3.2 billion as first reported by the Financial Times, the Post says Apple will offer $3 billion. One source said Apple hadn’t even done its due diligence yet when news of the acquisition first leaked, and the relatively tiny number of Beats Music subscribers may have driven the price down over the last few weeks. According to one report, Beats’ streaming service has just 110,000 paid subscribers, compared to 10 million for competitor Spotify.

Even at $3 billion, the acquisition would be Apple’s largest ever. The prevailing theories about the Apple/Beats deal are that Apple is interested in Beats’ luxury (and highly profitable) headphone business, its cultural cachet and the talent of co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, who may have better luck negotiating music and video content deals on Apple’s behalf.

Although the Post reports that Apple could announce a deal this week, a reveal at next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference may be more appropriate. The Post says both Iovine and Dre will be in attendance.

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