Apple Revokes “Made For iPhone” License For Monster Headphones

There’s nothing like a lawsuit to break up what appears to be a rather cozy and lucrative relationship. And that’s exactly what appears to be happening between Monster and Apple, with the accessories company saying the iPhone maker has revoked its authority to make licensed accessories for iOS devices because of a pending lawsuit against Apple subsidary Beats.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple stripped Monster of its official licensing agreement that had been in place for nearly 10 years.

Monster claims that Apple’s move to revoke its ability to manufacture authorized accessories for the iPhone, iPad and iPod is retribution for a lawsuit the company and its chief executive Noel Lee filed against Beats back in January.

The still-pending lawsuit claims that Beats founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine duped Monster and Lee out of significant proceeds from the company’s $3.2 billion sale to Apple last year.

The complaint alleges that Dre and Iovine worked out a “sham” deal to cut out Lee from a partnership in which Monster had been producing Beats-brand headphones in 2013. As a result of the deal, the suit alleges Lee and Monster lost out on between $30 million and $150 million when Apple acquired Beats just a year later.

A lawyer for Monster tells the WSJ that Apple notified the company that the licensing agreement would be terminated on May 5.

The notice claimed that the association between the two companies was no longer “mutually beneficial” and that the lawsuit would “destroy any working relationship.” Since 2008, Monster says it has paid Apple nearly $12 million in licensing fees.

As part of the dissolution, the accessories company can continue to sell already produced Apple-licensed products through September, but must stop manufacturing new items.

Monster tells the WSJ that the termination of the MFi  (Manufactured For iPhone/iPad/iPod) could significantly disrupt business, as about 900 of the company’s more than 4,000 products were created through the licensing program. The company must now change its packaging and redesign some products.

Apple Revokes Monster’s Authority to Make Licensed Accessories [The Wall Street Journal]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.