Beats Electronics, the headset manufacturer founded by rapper Dr. Dre and now majority owned by HTC, has reportedly bought online music service MOG though the deal is not final, according to a new report from AllThingsD. We confirmed yesterday that HTC had swapped term sheets with MOG in the last couple of weeks, after Business Insider first reported the rumored acquisition. Now, it looks like the acquisition is a go, though it is Beats doing the acquiring, not HTC.
The Verge quoted HTC saying it was not buying MOG directly, even though it invested $300 million in Beats last year for a 51-percent stake. It’s unclear exactly how Beats and HTC will use MOG, though Om reported a month ago that HTC was rumored to be in talks to launch its own music subscription service on its handsets. Having MOG and its deals with the music labels could help HTC or Beats quickly create their own music service.
MOG, which has raised $25 million, has struggled to compete against bigger rivals like Spotify and Rdio. The service has about 500,000 subscribers, far behind Spotify and its 3 million paying users. The company has been the subject of persistent acquisition rumors in recent months, but the company’s CEO David Hyman denied any such plans in February.