HTC had originally purchased 50.1% of Beats in 2011 for $300 million and started offering phones with special Beats Audio software and branded earphones. Eventually, HTC stopped offering the earphones due to cost. In two transactions in 2012 and last year, the Taiwan manufacturer divested its holdings in the company.
Beats was founded by music producer Jimmy Iovine, and rapper Dr. Dre. Including a $500 million investment from the Carlyle Group, Beats Audio recently had a value of $1 billion, which means that Apple is either about to overpay big time for the company, or Beats Audio has tripled in value over the last few months.
source: NYTimes via BusinessInsider