Report: Apple Is Getting Ready to Buy Beats for $3.2 Billion

According to the Financial Times, Apple is closing in on an acquisition of Beats, the headphone manufacturer turned streaming music service. The $3.2 billion deal would give Apple control over a powerful brand, but at the same time, it would be puzzling and uncharacteristic of Apple. The FT points out it would be Apple's biggest acquisition ever.

Apple's digital music juggernaut has been slowing down recently, and the company is rumored to be weighing an on-demand streaming music service. In that sense, the deal would make sense. But the acquisition would also give Cupertino control over an empire built on plastic headphones, which conceptually, doesn't seem to meld with Apple's elegant glass and aluminum aesthetic.

The deal could reportedly close as early as next week. It wouldn't be the first time Apple bought up a music startup, but unlike other acquisitions in which Apple takes the talent and incorporates it into Apple products, Beats is a powerful force of its own right. Perhaps the deal has less to do with streaming music and hardware, and more to do with Topspin Media, the Beats-owned e-commerce and marketing platform. Of course, this is only a rumor. And a crazy one at that. [Financial Times]