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Beats buys back HTC's remaining 25 percent stake in company

It was rumored over the summer and today it's official — Beats Electronics, the company behind Beats Audio and Beats By Dre, has bought back the remaining 25 percent stake in it held by HTC in a $265 million deal. The Taiwanese smartphone maker originally acquired a 50.1-percent stake in Beats at the height of its success in 2011, before founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre bought back half of that a year later.

Over the course of the partnership, the companies' fortunes have diverged, with HTC falling on hard times as Beats has grown and expanded its business beyond headphones. HTC described Beats as an "important partner" in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange, without going into further details about the consequences of the buyback. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

Source: Dow Jones Business News (opens in new tab); via: Engadget (opens in new tab)

Alex Dobie
Alex Dobie

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

56 Comments
  • Aww, so I guess no more Beats Audio HTC phones? Posted from the old Google Nexus 7 via Android Central App
  • I wouldn't say that. HTC still says Beats is an important partner.
  • so i guess the One Maxx will be the last phone with the Beats Amplifier in it. And not to forget those Boomsound speakers :)
  • I almost spit my coffee outta my nose on that one... There is no beats amplifier. Posted from my HTC One from the Android Central App
  • When I mean beats amplifier I mean the beats sound enhancements.. When I wrote my previous comment I was in a hurry :P
  • "Beats sound enhancements." Also known as a crappy bass-heavy EQ with a trendy logo slapped on it. Posted via Android Central App
  • The Beats EQ in HTC phones has improved greatly though... Sounded bloated in the One S but sounds great on the One. Posted from my HTC One via Android Central App
  • You obviously know nothing about sound. Beats offers the highest quality of sound ever. Anybody who works in a music studio will tell you. Posted via Android Central App
  • I love sarcasm so much! Too bad the typewritten word cannot convey it.
  • Lol. Thank you Chris. Posted via Android Central App
  • Tupac always wore Beats. Posted via the Windowz Phone App
  • LOL, exactly.
  • The HTC One does have dedicated amplifiers for the front facing speakers and for the headphone jack. They are manufactured by Beats and are similar to those used in some of their headphones.
  • +1
  • Lmao! Give him a break! Posted via Android Central App
  • Yawn beats wasn't that good anyways few others that's way better viper4android is one Posted via Android Central App
  • I think they finally got Beats implementation right with the One. Hopefully they'll continue to partner up together.
  • HTC phones will still probably have Beats Audio. I don't see why they wouldn't. It was mutually beneficial for both companies. Posted via Android Central App
  • Maybe we will see Beats tech in a wider range of Android devices. At least that's this guy's wish. Posted via Android Central App
  • You mean stereo front-facing speakers? Yes, I would also like to see stereo front-facing speakers on more devices. Minus the hip-hop marketing. Posted via Android Central App
  • Front-facing stereo speakers and Beats have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Just happen to both be on the One.
  • Off subject, but more TVs really need front-facing speakers, too. It just makes sense to have sound coming toward viewers/listeners, rather than toward the wall or blowing into the back of a TV cabinet. Posted via Android Central App, HTC One
  • they used to... people continue to want thinner TVs with smaller bezels, front facing speakers are not conducive to this, therefore manufacturers started putting them on the back and bottoms of TVs honestly, crap speakers = crap sound no matter where you place them. if you would like your TV to have great sound and dont want to buy a surround system, you should look into investing into a nice sound bar. better amplification, better speakers, some even offer a wired or wireless sub to deliver amazing full sound.
  • This x1000 Last week I picked up a soundbar for my TV. An inexpensive Samsung unit with a subwoofer and bluetooth, $150 at Kmart. The difference is night and day. Posted from my Motorola MicroTac via the Android Central App
  • Which model did you go with?
  • +1 Posted via Android Central App
  • What I read into this announcement is that Beats Audio wants to be a major player similar to the likes of Bose or Polk. By buying back the remaining 25% they can branch out and expand their product to other OEM'S and not be limited to being only associated with HTC. Just a thought? Posted via Android Central App
  • Agreed. I see Beats trying to do this in the near future. They will probably do well. I like having Beats Audio in my EVO LTE. Love that it works over bluetooth too. Posted via Android Central App
  • I thought that they were already doing something similar when I saw the beats branded HP laptops.
  • And Chrysler uses Beats audio, like Cadillac with Bose. I don't know if either of those car manufacturers are still doing this on new models, though. Posted via Android Central App, HTC One
  • yes GM still uses Bose for their premium sound option also the 2014 dodge charger still offers a 10 speaker Beats sound package including a subwoofer and a 550 watt amp.
  • Actually as part of the deal, Beats can not be listed on any other "mobile phone". But again this only affects HTC Beats equalizer, no actual Beats hardware made it into the phone. They can easily replicate the sound they probably just wont have the Beats logo on the back of the phones anymore.
  • What I read into it is HTC is a sinking ship and Beats is putting all its equipment in lifeboats.
  • Whatever it is, I hope Beats will still works with HTC Phone series in the future. To be honest, HTC series with Beats Audio enhancement is the best android phone ever for music and audio purposes :) Posted via Android Central App
  • Does this buyout kill a chunk of HTC revenue? Isnt part of their revenue from profit of their stake in Beats? Posted via Android Central App
  • well they made one mistake, beats by Dr. Dre is made by monster.
  • They split already Posted via Android Central App from THE HTC ONE
  • Does this mean the Beats logo on the back of my HTC One will magically disappear? Posted via Android Central App
  • (^ hopefully taking my ability to accidentally double post with it)
  • I hope Beats tech stays in HTC's future phones since they had a great thing going together, but I also hope it makes its way to other manufacturers. It was one of my favorite features when I had the LTE, and didn't like letting it go. I am surprised at the audio quality on my Motorola, it seems almost as good. Posted via Android Central App and Droid Mini
  • has the CEO resigned yet? do you hear me Chou??????????????????????????????
  • Beats is just hyped kid stuff anyway... The headphones are overpriced.I'd rather buy some nice Sennheiser or akg ones for the same money but with better quality. Posted via Android Central App
  • You've obviously never used beats. They offer the best sound. Ask any body so works in any audio industry. Posted via Android Central App
  • the key to having Beats sound that good is that the music has to be at least half as terrible as the headphones are...
  • Determining whether a product is good or not is like asking if (x) is a fine wine or not. If it tastes good to you, then it's a fine wine. Much can be said about headphones, 'no matter who makes them', if they sound good to you, then they're good headphones. It's as simple as that.
  • Well I have and used higher end reference headphones and Beats is a joke.
  • The non beats branded headphones included with the HTC One are probably the best I have ever seen included with a phone. Posted via Android Central App
  • One more nail in the Coffin.
  • great...so now it's HTC by Dre
  • What? HTC isn't owned by Dre.
  • Beats is a brand. A corporate concept. A marketing scheme. A preset overly-bass-heavy digital EQ. I'm glad to see these two companies possibly splitting. It will free up HTC to use there well known and great sounding HARDWARE for better QUALITY audio production. You don't have to be a pretentious audiophile to put on a pair of beats headphones, play your favorite tune, and realize they are a (very over-priced) waste of money. Posted via Android Central App
  • dr dRe think he all dat...
  • Not surprised by this. Posted via Android Central App
  • This was a smart move in my opinion. The initial buy was $300 million. They sold a 25% stake last year I'm not sure of the price. Then they sold this 25% stake for $265 million right now. They need the capital and the Beats recognition in the One was good for both. Everyone is hard on HTC but they are making it work.
  • dr dRe think he all that...
  • They bought the 50.1% stake for $309 Million and sold it back for $415 million over the next 2 years. A $106 million gain, not including revenue they made from the ownership. Not bad at all.