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Beats wins in case alleging double dealing before Apple sale


A judge has dismissed the heart of a lawsuit against Apple's Beats Electronics that claimed that the high-end-headphone maker's co-founders conspired to sever the headphone line from Monster before Apple bought the company in 2014 for $3.2 billion.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Fahey issued a summary judgement a week before the case was due to go to trial. The judge ruled that Beats was allowed to end their partnership, meaning its actions were not, as Monster and its CEO Noel Lee claimed, a "sham" created to take control of their shared headphone line.

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AP reports that an LA judge has dismissed a claim by Monster founder and former Beats shareholder that the company tricked him out of his share of the company prior to its acquisition by Apple.

The allegations, filed past year, had been scheduled to go to trial next week. A trial will still proceed, but will now address only a counterclaim by Beats for Monster to pay its legal fees.

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Monster attorney Philip Gregory didn't respond to requests for comment. The lawsuit alleged Dre, a former rap singer whose real name is Andre Young, and Iovine, a former record producer, orchestrated a "sham" deal with smartphone maker HTC in 2011 that led to the termination of the Monster alliance.

The lawsuit had alleged Beats' misrepresentations had caused Lee to sell his remaining 1.25 percent stake for $5.5 million in 2013.

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But Fahey concluded that Beats' actions were allowed under the contracts that Lee and Monster had entered into as sophisticated investors. That would have been worth more than $30 million had he owned it at the time of Beat's sale to Apple Inc.

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