Have you ever heard the saying, “it’s too quiet?” The European Commission has now approved the acquisition of Beats by Apple. The commission said that the buyout passes merger regulations. The commission concluded that Apple and Beats’ combined marketshare in both the streaming music and headphones markets is low, so an acquisition did not materially affect competition.
In headphones, the EU says that Apple/Beats exists in a global market with numerous other brands, including Bose, Sennheiser and Sony. For streaming music, companies like Spotify and Deezer offered a similar safety buffer. As the EU commission cares only for European operations, the fact that iTunes Radio and Beats Music do not currently operate in European countries also helped the deal go through smoothly.
Speaking of Bose and competition, it looks like the silence may actually be stolen noise cancelling technology, if Bose’s legal complaint has any merit. The complaint and injunction request cite 5 different patents related to processing and signal topology and high-frequency compensation. It would seem that Bose is intent on protecting it’s 30 years of investment. Read more on the patent piece HERE.