updated 11:00 am EDT, Wed June 25, 2014
Could ask for concessions if deal thought to be too anti-competitive
Antitrust regulators with the European Commission will rule by July 30 whether or not Apple's $3 billion takeover of Beats can go ahead as planned, according to Reuters. The Commission has several options available: it can authorize the deal as signed, or ask for concessions -- such as divestiture -- if it's determined that the buyout would give Apple too much industry control. In a worst-case scenario, the Commission could launch an investigation that might even scuttle the acquisition.
It's uncertain which way European regulators are leaning on the deal. In any case Apple must still pass the scrutiny of two US agencies, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice.
The reason behind the Beats purchase is likewise unknown. Apple is believed to be interested in headphone and speaker technology above all, but may also want to leverage Beats Music to help turn iTunes Radio into an on-demand streaming service closer to Spotify than Pandora. Beats' Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre (Andre Young) may also give Apple more cultural cachet, and expertise in negotiating music deals.