Apple is officially a step closer to owning Beats, as the $3 billion merger has just been cleared in Europe. The EU commission ruled that the merger "did not raise concerns because the combined (headphone) market share of Apple and Beats Electronics is low." That might sound like an odd thing to say about Apple, but the EU pointed out that after buying Beats, it would still have Bose, Sennheiser, Sony and other competitors in the sector. As a result, Apple/Beats would be far from a headphone monopoly, which was the EU's main concern. The purchase still has to be cleared in the US, but most pundits think regulators there will toe a similar line. Apple has a new headache, though: one of those competitors, Bose, has just sued it over its noise-cancelling patents.