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Apple-Beats deal criticism is 'unfair': Cramer

Apple's $3 billion acquisition of Beats is not a needle mover for its stock, but criticism of the deal is "unfair," CNBC's Jim Cramer said Thursday.

"One of the reasons why people have been critical of this deal is that no one envisions any other company coming in and paying for Beats. Basically saying, you know what, maybe this is so peculiar meaning that they need these people to reinvent themselves," Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street."

Indeed, Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and rapper Dr. Dre will join Apple as part of the acquisition of the music streaming and audio equipment company known for its bulky headphones.

Jim Cramer on "Squawk on the Street."
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Jim Cramer on "Squawk on the Street."

To Cramer, the Apple-Beats deal reminds him of Google's $3.2 billion acquisition of thermostat maker Nest in January. Shortly thereafter, Nest recalled roughly 440,000 smoke alarms. Google was really just trying to acquire Nest founder Tony Fadell, though, he said.

"It is so interesting to me that Google got no criticism on a deal that I thought was wildly, wildly outrageous," Cramer said. "Apple, everything they do is under such scrutiny, that it is a little unfair."

Still, Cramer noted Apple's iTunes has been sluggish for several quarters. He thinks Beats might help turn its music business around.

The weakest link "of Apple is music and it used to be the finest," Cramer said. "That's become a second-rate product and Apple has always been either first-rate or gone. So maybe this will give that part of the conference call a lift ... this is a conference call-oriented stock."

—By CNBC's Drew Sandholm.

Disclosure: When this story was published, Cramer's charitable trust owned Apple and Google (Class A).

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