Today: Apple confirms the acquisition of Beats Electronics and Beats Music three weeks after the move was first reported, committing $3 billion to the headphones and streaming-music company founded by Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. Also: Twitter rebounds in a big way, along with Workday and Palo Alto Networks.
The Lead: Apple officially buys Beats for $2.6 billion in cash, $400 million in stock
Apple confirmed the largest acquisition in its history Wednesday, the $3 billion purchase of headphones company Beats that will bring two music legends, Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, to work for the Cupertino tech giant.
The deal, which will net Apple the Beats' Electronics headphones business and the Beats Music streaming service, cost $2.6 billion in cash and $400 million in stock that will take time to vest. The deal was first reported nearly three weeks ago, on May 8, when the Financial Times and other outlets quoted unnamed sources saying Apple would pay $3.2 billion for the Santa Monica-based company.
Along with the company's hardware and streaming service, Apple receives Iovine and Dre in a marriage of Silicon Valley tech and SoCal fame.
"The ugly truth is that there is such a Berlin Wall between Silicon Valley and L.A.," CEO Tim Cook told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published Wednesday afternoon. "The two don't respect each other, don't understand each other."
Cook commended Iovine and Dre in media interviews, but did not announce the pair's titles within the organization; Iovine told the Journal that they would simply be "Jimmy and Dre."
"We have known these guys forever," Cook told The Associated Press of Iovine and Dre. "We've dated, we've gone steady and now we are getting married. This relationship started a decade ago, so we know there is an incredible cultural fit. These two guys have a very rare set of skills. It's like finding a particular grain of sand on the beach. It's that rare."
"I've always known in my heart that Beats belonged with Apple," Iovine said in Wednesday's news release. "The idea when we started the company was inspired by Apple's unmatched ability to marry culture and technology."
While other Silicon Valley companies have shown a penchant for big-money acquisitions such as the purchase of Beats, such moves have been rare for Apple. The deal gives the Cupertino tech giant a new product line of headphones and other audio peripherals after criticism of its lack of new products since the iPhone and iPad helped usher in the mobile era of computing.
Cook also praised the young streaming-music service Beats has spawned in his Journal interview.
"We love the subscription service that they built -- we think it's the first one that really got it right," Cook said.
The Beats Music streaming service could be important to Apple, which has released a Pandora rival called iTunes Radio but has no answer to popular streaming services such as Spotify, which recently surpassed 10 million paying subscribers.
"They are buying into the future and the future is going to be streaming and subscription," Jon Irwin, the former president of streaming service Rhapsody, said after the deal first leaked. "Revenue from streaming and subscription is growing. Files and downloads are shrinking. Everyone has to engage in streaming and subscription."
Besides cofounders Iovine and Dre, Washington, D.C. private-equity firm The Carlyle Group appears to be a big winner in the acquisition: It paid about $500 million seven months ago for just under 50 percent of Beats Electronics, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Apple said Wednesday it expects the deal to close by the end of September. The company's stock reached 52-week highs for the third consecutive trading session Wednesday, but closed with a 0.3 percent decline at $624.01.
SV150 market report: Twitter, Workday and Palo Alto Networks rebound
Wall Street slipped slightly Wednesday, but some of Silicon Valley's most devalued stocks staged a comeback during and after the day's trading session.
Many of Silicon Valley's youngest public tech companies were the hardest hit in a wave of sell-offs during the past quarter, but Twitter, Workday and Palo Alto Networks managed to battle back from those depths Wednesday. Twitter, which ended Tuesday nearly 60 percent below highs reached at the end of 2013, jumped 10.7 percent to $33.77 after Nomura analyst Anthony DiClemente wrote a note that said, "Enough is enough." "The current price offers investors a unique opportunity to own a now-underappreciated digital media asset," DiClemente wrote in upgrading the San Francisco company's stock from "Neutral" to "Buy" with a $43 price target. Workday's rebound stemmed from the Pleasanton cloud software company's earnings report, which Canaccord Genuity analyst Richard Davis called "exceptional results on literally every metric;" shares gained 2.3 percent to $84.04. Palo Alto Networks declined by a dime in regular trading to $69.51, but zoomed to $77 in late trading after releasing earnings and announcing that a lawsuit with Sunnyvale's Juniper Networks had been settled after an earlier mistrial in the legal battle. The Santa Clara network-security company reported a net loss of $139.1 million, or $1.86 a share, on sales of $150.7 million, though those results were skewed by charges from the Juniper settlement, which includes a $175 million payment from Palo Alto Networks to Juniper; after accounting for that cash and other one-time charges, the company said it tallied a profit of $5.3 million, or 7 cents a share. Juniper closed with a 0.8 percent gain at $25.23 and moved closer to $25.50 in after-hours trades following the announcement.
Tesla Motors dropped 0.6 percent to $210.24 after Standard & Poor's gave its corporate credit a "junk" rating, and CEO Elon Musk's other Silicon Valley company, solar installer SolarCity, fell 2.3 percent to $51.98 after striking up a deal to offer discounts through Groupon. Facebook continued to deal with foreign issues, as the service was cut off in post-coup Thailand and an Iranian official said that CEO Mark Zuckerberg had not been summoned to answer privacy concerns in the country -- yet; the Menlo Park company's stock 3 cents to $63.51. Hewlett-Packard advanced 0.8 percent to $33.35 after a Gartner report said the Palo Alto company maintained its lead in server shipments, and Google fell 0.8 percent to $570.45 after an IDC report on smartphone shipments predicted Android would broaden its lead in that segment.
Up: Twitter, Workday, SunPower, Ruckus, Zynga, Nvidia, Juniper, HP, Intel, Netflix, NetApp, SanDisk, Cisco, Facebook
Down: eBay, SolarCity, Salesforce, Symantec, Pandora, Intuit, EA, AMD, Yahoo, Oracle, VMware, Google, Adobe, Tesla
The SV150 index of Silicon Valley's largest tech companies: Down 2.77, or 0.19 percent, to 1,450.53
The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index: Down 11.99, or 0.28 percent, to 4,225.08
The blue chip Dow Jones industrial average: Down 42.32, or 0.25 percent, to 16,633.18
And the widely watched Standard & Poor's 500 index: Down 2.13, or 0.11 percent, to 1,909.78