Fox News has learned that a group of four major technology companies including Apple, Google and Microsoft will pay a combined $1 billion to acquire audio equipment manufacturer Analog Devices.
The deal would allow the companies to compete for audio equipment, a market that has grown increasingly lucrative since the advent of the smartphone.
A $1 million purchase price tag is a relatively low price for such a big purchase and indicates a strong commitment by the companies.
The companies would each use the equipment to improve the performance of their own products and services.
Digital audio equipment is a growing market and could be critical to businesses that are relying on digital audio for their communications.
A major advantage of the acquisition would be that the companies would have a unified brand name and would have greater control over the product’s manufacturing and distribution, which would allow them to improve products that compete directly with Apple, Microsoft and Amazon.
The sale could come as early as 2019, according to two people familiar with the deal.
An Apple spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Google, the largest of the four companies, has made a number of acquisitions over the past several years, including purchasing audio-recording companies Audible and Zoom.
Google has also become a vocal advocate for its own digital audio technology.
Earlier this year, the search giant announced a partnership with SoundCloud, which allows users to upload and share music from its YouTube and Google Play music services.
The company also recently bought audio production studio Dontreza Labs.
Digital Audio Recordings, Inc. was founded in 1998 and has a presence in over a dozen countries.