According to the Wall Street Journal, Beats Audio is seeking alternative sources of funding in order to buy out its current partner in HTC. In 2011, HTC bought half of Beats Audio for $300 million since HTC saw it as a way to add appeal and a differentiator to its devices, while Beats saw it as an opportunity to expand its brand beyond headphones. However, in 2012 Beats bought back half of HTC’s investment for $150 million, currently leaving HTC with a 25% stake in the audio equipment maker after HTC kept reporting massive losses due to sluggish sales of its handsets, many with Beats Audio integration and being forced to sell off extraneous holdings in order to retain short-term stability.
Beats Audio is seeking new partners and investors as HTC is diverging away from the initial goals of the partnership according to Journal sources and is hoping to sign new deals within the next few weeks. There has been no official acknowledgement of the report by either HTC or Beats Audio and nothing is known regarding the extent of the Beats Audio technology license currently held by HTC as a result of the current partnership and whether it would be negatively affected by any buyout from Beats Audio or its new partners. Currently, HTC integrates Beats Audio technology across its current smartphone lineup which includes Android and Windows Phone 8 smartphones.