Monster Cable is commonly known for fleecing its customers, charging thousands of dollars for what should be cheap cables. In this case, however, Monster is the one that got fleeced, as Gizmodo reports.
The once-small audio company is generally considered to be the brains behind Beats by Dre, the ubiquitous bass-heavy headphones prevalent on every New York City subway car. When it came time to do the deal with Dr. Dre, however, Monster got hosed. Jimmy Iovine, Dr. Dre, and Interscope Records used their army of lawyers to ensure that the Beats enterprise got control of everything- the patents, the logos, even the rights to the engineering work. All Monster was left with was the expensive manufacturing process.
In the end, the big guys won out even more. Beats began claiming that Monster was hardly involved at all, and never contributed much of anything. When Taiwanese electronics giant HTC bought 51% of Beats from Iovine and Dre, they reportedly made $300 million on the deal. Monster got almost nothing:
Monster received some money as part of the breakup—more severance payment than cash-out—and Beats walked away with everything: all of Monster’s audio work, every single patent, the trademarked design, and more than anything else, the name. Iovine had once fought Monster to scrub its name off the very packaging of the headphones it’d designed—he wanted ‘Beats By Dre’ on the box and nothing else. No Monster logo. No mention of Monster whatsoever. With the HTC deal, Monster was out for good in every possible way, unable to use the technology it created to compete against the leviathan it’d helped birth.
That being said, the owners of Monster, Noel and Kevin Lee, don’t seem to be doing too bad. Last time I saw Noel Lee at a conference, he was on his chrome plated Segway, surrounded by what appeared to be Vegas showgirls: