After weeks of speculation and boasting videos, Apple has officially announced it has purchased Beats headphones to the tune of US$3 billion (about AU$3.25 billion).
The deal includes Beats Music, the company's streaming subscription music service, as well as its Beats Electronics hardware and audio software side.
Apple will hand over a purchase price of US$2.6 billion (about AU$2.81 billion) and about US$400 million (about AU$433 million) vested overtime. As part of the deal, Beats Co-Founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre will join Apple full-time.
Beats will continue to operate independently, though naturally synergies between the companies will arise.
"Music is such an important part of all of our lives and holds a special place within our hearts at Apple," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a press release. "That's why we have kept investing in music and are bringing together these extraordinary teams so we can continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world."
Though the deal was originally rumored to snag a US$3.2 billion (about AU$3.46 billion) price tag, the Beats deal ranks as Apple's most expensive and highest profile acquisition to date.
And the Beats go on
Iovine said that he has "always known in my heart Beats belonged with Apple," though we're sure that sentiment was sweetened by the $3 billion pay-out.
As for what this all means for consumers, the release stated Beats oft-maligned audio products will arrive in more countries thanks to the Apple Online Store, its retail spaces and Apple Authorized Resellers.
Just how Beats Music will work with Apple's own music products is less clear, though a comment by Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue indicated it will be a separate yet complementary part of Cupertino's offerings.
"The addition of Beats will make our music lineup even better, from free streaming with iTunes Radio to a world-class subscription service in Beats, and of course buying music from the iTunes Store as customers have loved to do for years," Cue said.
Apple anticipates sealing the deal by the end of the fourth fiscal quarter. Expect to hear more about Beats and Apple's latest recruits during next week's WWDC.