Business briefs: Apple might buy Beats, Netflix price hike takes effect

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Posted: Saturday, May 10, 2014 12:00 am

Apple in talks to buy Beats Electronics

Apple is in discussions to buy Beats Electronics, the company behind the popular Beats by Dre headphones, for $3.2 billion, according to people briefed on the talks, in what would be the biggest acquisition in Apple’s history. The deal would also include the new Beats Music streaming service, introduced in January as a competitor to Spotify and Pandora, and could signal an effort by Apple to transform its approach to music. The sale, if completed, could be announced as early as next week.

Netflix price hike takes effect for new subscribers

Netflix has raised its Internet video prices by $1 per month, to $9, for new customers. The old price of $8 per month will continue until May 2016 for Netflix’s existing 36 million U.S. subscribers. The price increase is Netflix’s first in nearly three years. The company disclosed its plans to raise its rates last month without specifying the precise amount. It says it needs more money so it can afford to pay for more original programming along the lines of its Emmy award-winning political drama “House of Cards.”

RadioShack pulls back on number of store closings

RadioShack says it couldn’t come to an agreement with lenders that would allow it close 1,100 of its stores, although it said it would still shutter a number of outlets as part of its plan to turn around the struggling company. The company’s credit agreement allowed it to close only 200 stores a year and up to 600 over the life of the agreement. In its last fiscal year, RadioShack reported a loss of $400 million, a substantial slide from its loss of $139 million the year before.

McDonald’s tests seasoned fries

McDonald’s on Friday started testing seasoned french fries at at restaurants in northern California and St. Louis. The hamburger chain said its “Shakin’ Flavor Fries” will be offered in garlic Parmesan, spicy Buffalo or zesty ranch flavors.

— From wire reports

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