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Apple's Beats buyout may be delayed by complicated negotiation process, culture clash

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Over three weeks ago, rumors from multiple sources rocked the tech world and made it seem that Apple would almost certainly purchase headphone maker Beats Electronics for some $3.2 billion. But since then, there's been nary a peep from Apple. Of course, the deal was only in "advanced stages" according to those early reports, and it seems something may be causing negotiations to drag on longer than expected. Billboard has spoken with multiple sources close to the discussions who've provided some details on what may be causing the delay.

The most likely culprit seems to simply be that it's complicated to make a $3.2 billion acquisition — Apple's largest ever and the first major deal under CEO Tim Cook — and perhaps word of the purchase leaked out far earlier than expected. Billboard also notes that the Beats Music streaming service is a separate business unit only partly owned by Beats Electronics, and if the unlimited-access music service is key to Apple's interest, there could be a disagreement over the purchase price. One source tells the music industry magazine that there are also concerns over whether Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre are a good fit as Apple executives. Especially after Dr. Dre's expletive-filled celebration of the news that was posted on Facebook and subsequently seen by thousands online. No matter what's holding up a deal, we should find out soon whether Apple still intends to purchase the headphone empire.