By Harry McCracken | Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 1:30 am
Owen Thomas of Valleywag has published a rumor which is both wildly entertaining and wildly improbable: Apple is supposedly in negotiations to buy Twitter for $700 million. What’s the alleged rationale? Well, Owen says that Apple is making dough as people snap up Twitter clients for the iPhone from the App Store. But A) it would take a heck of a lot of $2.99 copies of Tweetie to come up with $700 million; and B) as Owen points out, Apple will make money from Twitter clients whether or not it owns Twitter.
Owen goes on to theorize that Apple might covet Twitter in order to a make a statement about embracing openness and the Web. That seems like a pretty damn remote possibility. Apple does indeed buy companies, but it does so to become more like itself, not less so. (Good example: Its 2008 acquisition of PA-Semi, which will let it design its own chips and therefore gain more control over its products. Better example: Its 1996 acquisition of NeXT, which got it both a powerful OS and a new CEO with an outstanding resume for running Apple.)
People love to talk about Apple buying other famous companies. Sometimes they say that deals are in the works (although I wonder if any of the rumored transactions even reached the talking-it-over stage). Other times, they just wistfully hope that a deal might happen, or wonder what would transpire if it did.
Let’s review a dozen examples, shall we? After the jump, that is.
According to the paper, Apple is in talks to buy Universal Music, one of the world’s ‘big five’ record labels, from its troubled parent Vivendi. The Mac maker has yet to make a formal bid for the company, though negotiations have been continuing for the last couple of months. Apple is apparently looking to pay $5-6 billion. LA Times sources say Apple may make a bid on 29 April, when Vivendi’s board is next due to meet.
Now that Pixar and Walt Disney have gone their separate ways, does it make sense for Apple to buy Pixar?
TiVo Inc. shares jumped more than 17 percent on Wednesday, fueled by speculation that Apple might make a try to buy the digital video recorder maker, Reuters is reporting. “What we hear on the street is that Apple is interested in their business and that they are a takeout target,” said analyst Steven Kroll Jr. of Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co.
The thought that Apple might be interested in purchasing the struggling PDA manufacturer Palm, Inc. has been floating around for a while. Steve Jobs even tried to purchase the company in the late 90s, according to the San Jose Mercury News. However, the rumor has recently gained some traction with the call by multiple investors for Palm to sell itself. Also, some key Palm employees, such as co-founder and former company president Donna Dubinsky, have previously worked with Apple.
Over the years Apple and Sun have traded sales and marketing people and integrating the two companies would be less troublesome than most M&A’s since the corporate cultures are not much different. Also the product lines are very complimentary with only low-end servers having any conflicts.
Barron’s on Saturday said it’s possible that Apple could make a bid to buyout Disney after CEO Steve Jobs becomes the legendary entertainment firm’s largest shareholder.
Speculation about an Apple-Nintendo deal has been around for years, rekindled recently by fresh speculation since word leaked that Apple may be recruiting game engineers.
With Advanced Micro Devices’ (AMD) stock price deteriorating, could Apple (AAPL) be its white knight?
Sony has an illustrious history of innovation and coming back from the brink. Counting Sony out could be a dangerous bet for competitors and investors alike. That doesn’t mean Jobs shouldn’t be thinking bigger. As bold acquisitions go, Sony may be Apple’s one and only.
But my job this week is to look beyond products, to take a step back and give a long view of where Apple is headed. And the centerpiece of this analysis is my conclusion that Apple will inevitably buy Adobe Systems.
Apple Should Buy Yahoo: Why I’m Now Convinced
Rumor has it that Apple ( ↑3.80%) (Apple) may be looking at Electronic Arts ( ↑5.19%)) (21.0373 as a possible target and options action appear to be supporting this rumor.132.07
Owen’s Twapple rumor involves a merger being announced at Apple’s WWDC conference next month. I can’t think of a product Apple might announce that would be more startling than the news that it had snapped up the planet’s hottest social networking site…