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Apple Boots Bose Headphones From Stores, Online Site

The battle between Bose and Beats by Dre parent Apple has moved from the gridiron to a place where it really hurts -- Apple's stores.

Vjeran Pavic for Re/code

The battle between Bose and Beats by Dre parent Apple has moved from the gridiron to a place where it really hurts — the stores.

Bose headphones can no longer be found in Apple stores — not online, nor at the mall.

It is unclear what prompted the holiday season ouster, which was first reported by 9to5Mac. Other competing brands of headphones remain in Apple’s online store, including high-end models from Sennheiser, Bowers & Wilkins and Marshall. Bose did not respond to requests seeking comment, and Apple declined to comment on its partner relationships.

However, the bad blood between the two makers of premium headphones is hard to miss.

Two months after Apple announced it would acquire Beats for $3 billion, Bose sued, claiming that Beats had infringed on five of its patents for noise-canceling headphones. The Framingham, Mass., company also lodged a complaint with the International Trade Commission, seeking to halt the sale and import of certain Beats products.

That lawsuit was dismissed on Oct. 10, after the two parties reached a settlement. Terms were not disclosed.

Meanwhile, a publicity battle between the premium headphone brands has been playing out on TV.

Bose secured an exclusive marketing deal with the National Football League that kept all other manufacturers’ headphones off camera on game day, from the moment players set foot on the field up to 90 minutes after the final whistle.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick flouted the rule during a post-game press conference, and said he was slapped with a $10,000 fine by the league. Other players followed suit, including Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, Seattle Seahawks star Richard Sherman and Cowboys defender Barry Church.

An NFL spokesperson subsequently issued a statement saying players could tape over the Beats brand to avoid being disciplined.

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