Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

HTC Cuts Back Beats Investment

A year after putting $300 million into audio company Beats Electronics, best known for its high-end headphones, HTC has had a change of heart. The smartphone maker has sold back half its stake in Beats for $150 million, but will still own 25 percent of the company.

An HTC press release asserts that “over the last year, HTC and Beats have made great progress in sound innovation, product integration and brand awareness with successes like the HTC One,” but doesn’t explain the decision to reduce its stake.

HTC will retain exclusive rights to use Beats audio technology with its handsets (the company has a separate deal with Hewlett-Packard for laptops); the two companies are supposed to launch a “global marketing campaign” later this year.

This month, Beats announced a $14 million deal to acquire streaming music service MOG.

HTC says it expects to lose $4.9 million on its Beats investment, based on the headphone company’s current book value.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik