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EU clears Apple's deal for Beats

The European Union's antitrust authority has cleared Apple's 3 billion US dollar deal to buy Beats Electronics, which makes headphones and offers music streaming services.

The 28-nation bloc's executive commission said the transaction does not threaten competition because the firms' combined European market share in both fields will be low while facing strong competitors.

The takeover of Beats Electronics and Beats Music announced in May for 2.6 billion US dollars in cash and 400 million dollars in stock is the most expensive acquisition in Apple's 38-year history.

The move to buy Beats, founded by rapper Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine, was widely seen as a bid to counter the increasing threat posed by music streaming services like Pandora and Spotify to Apple's iTunes store.

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