Apple to buy Beats Electronics, a deal that would make Dr. Dre hip-hop's richest man.

Apple is reportedly buying Beats Electronics, the audio equipment and music-streaming service co-created by hip-hop mogul Dr Dre. The Financial Times broke the news of the reported deal which, at $3.2 billion, will be Apple’s largest ever. Apple and Beats declined to comment on the report.

The deal would come as Apple’s sales are flagging, a problem that stems from a lack of major new products that bring consumers to Apple stores, according to an investor note from Needham analyst Charlie Wolf obtained by Apple Insider. Apple also faces intense competition from Microsoft, Google and smartphone maker Samsung.

Why splurge on Beats, which can cost more than $300? Part of the reason: the cool factor. Despite the hefty price tag, the headphones, a streetwise fashion statement with a signature “B” on the ear, are as popular with teens as they are with celebrities.

Read it at The Washington Post.