When Apple confirmed that it was acquiring Beats for $3 billion in 2014, the deal became news all over the world. However, Tripp Mickle’s book After Steve has now revealed that the deal between the two companies was almost put in jeopardy after a video of Dr. Dre was leaked on the web.
Back in 2014, before both companies confirmed the acquisition, there were multiple rumors about the negotiations. Still, as Apple is super concerned with secrecy, no one could say a word about it. But as detailed in a chapter of Mickle’s book (via iMore), the deal had been pretty much confirmed by a video.
Beats cofounder Dr. Dre appeared in a video with actor and singer Tyrese Gibson where he celebrates Dr. Dre becoming a hip-hop billionaire, referring to Apple’s acquisition of Beats. Jimmy Iovine, also a cofounder of Beats, immediately received a call warning him about the video that had been mistakenly posted on Facebook.
After this event, Apple CEO Tim Cook invited Dre and Iovine to Cupertino for a private conversation. The book says that Cook was “disappointed,” but that he wouldn’t scrap the deal since he was convinced that acquiring Beats was the right thing to do.
Iovine was anxious and afraid that Cook was going to kill the deal. Instead of the anger and cursing that would have poured out of Jobs in a moment like that, Cook exuded calm. He told the music executives that he was disappointed and wished that Dre’s social media outburst hadn’t happened but said that the video hadn’t shaken his conviction that buying Beats was right for Apple.
Even so, there were consequences. The Beats acquisition was finalized for $200 million less than expected. Although rumors at the time suggested that the low number of Beats Music subscribers had driven down the price, the book alleges that Apple reduced the amount paid to Beats after Dr. Dre’s mistake.
Apple has acquired both Beats Electronics and Beats Music. While the company’s headphones are still available from Apple under the Beats brand, Beats Music has been incorporated into Apple Music.
After Steve: How Apple Became a Trillion-Dollar Company and Lost Its Soul revisits Apple’s last decade, just after Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO to take care of his health. For a more in-depth look at the publication, be sure to read 9to5Mac‘s review by Zac Hall. The book is now available in stores.
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