For the past couple of years, HTC has held a sizable stake in Beats Audio, the company that was co-founded in 2008 by hip-hop artist Dr. Dre and music executive (and sometimes American Idol mentor) Jimmy Iovine. This has allowed HTC to incorporate Beats Audio technology inside its smartphones, including the HTC Windows Phone 8S, shown above.
Unfortunately, the Taiwan-based HTC has not been as successful in selling its smartphones lately. In 2012, Beats Audio bought back some of HTC's interest in the company, from 50.1 percent down to 25 percent. Now, The Wall Street Journal reports that Beats Audios is looking to buy back the rest of the company that HTC currently owns. Neither HTC nor Beats Audio would confirm what was stated in the WSJ's report.
If true, the deal could mean that HTC could also lose the rights to use Beats Audio as part of its smartphone audio hardware. Having that brand name made the smartphones stand out from other devices. However, it's clear that Beats Audio sees HTC's recent financial problems as a drag on their own company. The Wall Street Journal says Beats tried and failed to gain more investors earlier this year. It needs more money to help fund its plans for expanding into new businesses, including speakers and even a streaming online music service, a la Pandora and Spotify.
Source: Wall Street Journal