Apple Inc. is close to paying a record $3.2bn for Beats Electronics, an expensive foray into music streaming and headphone gear that would mark a departure for the usually cash-conservative iPhone maker, Reuters has reported, citing two people with knowledge of the matter. Founded by rapper Dr. Dre and music producer Jimmy Iovine, Beats Electronics is best known for its “Beats by Dr Dre” line of trendy headphones that vie with the likes of Skullcandy Inc., Sennheiser Electronic and Bose Corp. This year, it launched a music service that has won plaudits for its slick design and human music curation, versus the computer-algorithms that determine playlists for most of its rivals. Both companies are hashing out details and the envisioned deal could still fall through, one person said on condition of anonymity because the discussions were private.
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