The leaf on the Apple symbol is tinted green at the Apple flagship store on 5th Ave in New York April 22, 2014.

Brussels - The European Commission said Monday it has cleared Apple's $3 billion (2.2 billion euros) acquisition of US headphone maker and music streaming business Beats.

Brussels had been concerned the takeover of Beats Electronics, founded by rapper Dr Dre and music industry giant Jimmy Iovine, by the technology giant could hurt competition as both make headphones.

But on Monday the European Union's executive arm ruled that even combined they would have only a very modest market share and face stiff competition from the likes of Bose, Sennheiser and Sony.

In terms of digital music sales, the Commission came to a similar conclusion.

Last week, audio technology veteran Bose sued Beats Electronics over the alleged use of patented technology for cancelling noise in earphones. - Sapa-AFP