Apple announced plans Wednesday to buy Beats Music and Beats Electronics in a deal worth $3 billion that gives the US tech giant more clout in the hotly contested music sector.
The deal for the maker of high-end audio equipment and streaming music service calls for Beats co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine to join the California company.
"Music is such an important part of all of our lives and holds a special place within our hearts at Apple," Apple chief executive Tim Cook said in a statement.
"That's why we have kept investing in music and are bringing together these extraordinary teams so we can continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world."
Bringing Beats into the Apple fold will offer opportunities to weave iTunes Radio service into more devices, and even spread the App Store for mini programs to other products, according to analysts.
Since launching five years ago, Beats has become a popular brand for audio equipment and has attracted the likes of Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj, who have designed their own customized Beats headphones and speakers.
Fashion designers and street artists such as Alexander Wang, Futura and Snarkitecture have collaborated on some products.
The company was founded by Dr. Dre, the popular rap musician, and his producer Iovine.
The deal, which has been rumored for weeks, is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed later this year, Apple said.
"I've always known in my heart that Beats belonged with Apple," said Iovine.
"The idea when we started the company was inspired by Apple's unmatched ability to marry culture and technology. Apple's deep commitment to music fans, artists, songwriters and the music industry is something special."