HTC has sold half of its 50.1 percent stake in Beats Audio, less than a year after it acquired its share of the company for $309 million. The move leaves HTC with a 25.57 stake in Beats, with the remaining 24.53 percent being bought back by the company's founders, Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, for $150 million. This comes after a year in which Beats failed to emerge as a major differentiator for HTC's smartphones, and after the company reversed its decision to include premium Beats-branded earphones with its high-end HTC One series phones.
In a statement, HTC said it will continue to "work closely" with Beats, and despite the sale, it's expected HTC will continue to include Beats software enhancements in future smartphones.
HTC remains in a somewhat uneasy position, following strong competition from Samsung and Apple in the mobile space. The company's second quarter numbers showed a 57.8 percent year-on-year fall in net profits, following lower-than-expected sales of the HTC One series. Despite this, HTC remains a major force in the smartphone world, as recently released Nielsen numbers show the manufacturer with a 14 percent market share in the U.S., behind Samsung's 17 percent.
Source: Yahoo Finance