Monster founder and CEO Neol Lee has spoken out on Apple’s proposed $3.2 billion takeover of former audio partner Beats, and he sounds a little bitter.
Although attempting to put a brave face on the proposed acquisition, Lee, whose company Monster helped bring the Beats brand to market, has failed to mask his disappointment in no longer being affiliated with the popular headphone and speaker maker.
Monster originally penned a deal with Dr Dre and music mogul Jimmy Iovine to help develop, launch and distribute the Beats audio line.
With the deal said to have heavily favoured the music makers, leaving Monster just distribution rights, when Dre and Iovine sold a 51 per cent share of the Beats brand to HTC for $300 million last year, Lee was pushed out.
“For the first 5 years, until 2013, Monster was Beats, having developed, engineered, and distributed all of the Beats products,” Lee has said.
“We wish we could have partnered with companies like Apple and enjoyed some of the fruits of our labour, but our license with Beats ended with the purchase of Beats by HTC.”
He added: “Monster, by contract, had to turn over all of the IP and manufacturing in 2013. However, the reported Apple acquisition reflects on the potential valuation of Monster – as we have developed many new and advanced products that are appearing on the market now.
Although losing out on a potential $3.2 billion (£1.9bn) deal must be a bitter [Beats] Pill to swallow, Lee has attempted to look ahead to Monster’s future plans with good grace.
He stated: “As for Monster, we have become a platform for creativity, innovation and collaboration. Our partnerships range from luxury with Lamborghini and Hublot, to lifestyle products with adidas Originals, set to be showcased during the World Cup in Brazil, and the stunning 24K headphone evangelized by hip hop artist Meek Mill.
“We have moved on to develop more advanced headphone technologies, collectively called Pure Monster Sound™, that bring the listener closer to the music.”
He added: “The future is bright for music, streaming or otherwise. I want to thank Jimmy and Dre for pioneering the way in marketing and Beats Music, and putting a spotlight to the value of companies in our space. We will find the collaborations and opportunities that will change the game once again.”
Read More: Five reasons why Apple might buy Beats