Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 29 January 2015

Dre ‘losing billions’ on Beats

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 10:  Founder of Beats Electronics, Dr. Dre arrives at the Beats by Dr. Dre CES after-party at the Marquee Nightclub at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on January 10, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for Beats by Dre)
Dr. Dre

Dr. Dre and his business partners allege they’re losing billions to knockoffs of their Beats by Dre headphones.

The rapper recently made headlines after negotiating a reported $3.2 billion deal with Apple to buy the company he co-founded in 2008 with music industry executive Jimmy Iovine.

But according to legal filings obtained by TMZ, the company claims cheap counterfeits of their Beats by Dre headphones are swindling the business out of profits.

The website reports the suit names a multitude of websites based in China selling headphones with Beats’ well-known red “b” logo.

The company claims counterfeiters have raked in an estimated $135 billion in revenue from the alleged scams.

Beats is reportedly seeking to halt sales of all counterfeit goods and wants the rights to the domain names mentioned in the suit.

The company is also suing for all profits from the fakes.

Dre bragged back in May he had become hip-hop’s first billionaire after signing the deal with Apple.

The rapper, who apparently held a 25 per cent stake in the company, appeared in a video with singer Tyrese, boasting, “First billionaire in hip-hop, right here on the motherf**king west coast.”

Forbes took issue with the claim, however.

The website noted after state and federal taxes were taken into consideration, Dre would be worth approximately $800 million, leaving him just shy of the financial milestone.

"Not quite enough to debut on the Forbes 400 but plenty for bragging rights,” the magazine's assistant managing editor for wealth wrote.

Forbes forecasted the maximum Dre would earn from the Apple deal would be $800 million, which reduces to $480 million after taxes.

Analysts combined the $480 million net profit with Dre’s other assets to come up with the $800 million figure.

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