Apple buys Beats Music and Beats Electronics for $3 bn

San Francisco, May 29 (EFE).- Tech giant Apple said it was acquiring Beats, the maker of high-end headphones and operator of a music streaming service, for $3 billion in a deal aimed at moving further into the subscription music business.

The deal calls for Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre to join Apple.

"Music is such an important part of all of our lives and holds a special place within our hearts at Apple," Apple CEO Tim Cook said. "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."

There had been speculation that Apple would buy Beats since the beginning of May, with numerous media outlets reporting that it was just a matter of time before the deal was confirmed.

"I've always known in my heart that Beats belonged with Apple," Iovine said. "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."

Iovine, a music producer, and Dr. Dre, a rapper, will help the Cupertino, California-based Apple to develop its music operations.

The purchase of the Beats Music subscription service, however, does not mean that iTunes is going away, Apple said.

"Music is such an important part of Apple's DNA and always will be," Apple senior vice president of Internet software and services Eddy Cue said. "The addition of Beats will make our music lineup even better, from free streaming with iTunes Radio to a world-class subscription service in Beats, and of course buying music from the iTunes Store as customers have loved to do for years."

Beats Music was launched in January and has about 200,000 subscribers.

The Beats deal is the biggest acquisition in the history of Apple, which had never paid more than $1 billion to buy another business.