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Beats Music employees stay mum on rumored Apple acquisition

Beats Audio equipment is arranged for a photo next to an Apple laptop at Best Buy in Boston, Friday, May 9, 2014.
It's not final yet, but Apple is said to be close to a multi- billion dollar deal to buy Beats Electronics, the company known for its sleek headphone line and music streaming service.

Beats employees could potentially make a lot of money, but one person who won't make anything is the man who essentially started it all.

"I'm happy when anyone makes that kind of money," Monster CEO Noel Lee said.

Lee isn't bitter that he won't get a penny in the Apple/Beats deal, despite the fact his Brisbane-based company came up with the technology and design for Beats headphones. Monster and Beats Electronics parted ways a year and a half ago.

"We didn't capture all the fruits of our labor and we could have better than that but we were happy for the experience, put it that way," Lee said.



Beats Music moved into a Dogpatch office in San Francisco less than a year ago. The music streaming start-up is part of Beats Electronics.

Friday, employees had little to say about a possible $3.2 billion acquisition by Apple.

"There's nothing official, right? It's all just rumor. Just like, it's all rumor so we don't know anything that anyone else knows," Beats Music employee Bryant Martin said.

Apple's plan to buy Beats Electronics is still being hashed out and could still fall through, but Beats founder Dr. Dre hinted at the sale in a YouTube video (Warning: explicit language).

Beats headphones will no doubt bring a cool element to Apple, but analysts say Beats Music, the streaming service, is really what Apple is after.

"Apple pioneered purchasing music; owning it in an actual physical or virtual file, but streaming has become the way to go and I think Apple has to be a very much a part of streaming to remain relevant," Larry Magid said.

And it's not like Apple can't afford it. The company has more than $150 billion in cash.

If the deal goes through, it's expected to be announced as early as next week.
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