It’s finally official: Apple has acquired Beats Electronics for $3 billion, including $2.6 billion cash up front and approximately $400 million in stock that will vest over time. As expected, Beats co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine will join Apple in as-yet undisclosed roles. “Music is such an important part of all of our lives and holds a special place within our hearts at Apple,” CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “That’s why we have kept investing in music and are bringing together these extraordinary teams so we can continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world.” As reported by Forbes, this acquisition is Apple’s biggest ever, and the largest since it brought back Steve Jobs in 1997 through a $400 million purchase of NeXT. However, the $3 billion price – $200 million less than originally anticipated – is just a tiny fraction of the company’s $150 billion cash reserves, and Beats’ estimated annual sales of $2 billion represents barely over 1% of Apple’s $171 billion revenue last year. “I’ve always known in my heart that Beats belonged with Apple,” Iovine commented. “The idea when we started the company was inspired by Apple’s unmatched ability to marry culture and technology. Apple’s deep commitment to music fans, artists, songwriters, and the music industry is something special.” While some analysts have wondered why Apple didn’t simply build its own streaming service within iTunes, Cook reportedly believes this deal gives him a quicker way to catch up with Spotify and others. “The addition of Beats will make our music lineup even better, from free streaming with iTunes Radio to a world-class subscription service in Beats, and of course buying music from the iTunes Store as customers have loved to do for years,” Apple Senior Vice President Eddy Cue told Forbes.