Microsoft setting up bidding war with Apple over Universal Music Group?

“Microsoft has expressed interest in buying Vivendi’s Universal Music Group, setting up a possible bidding war between the software maker and rival Apple Computer, according to sources familiar with the matter. Microsoft’s interest is said to be at the level of “poking around, kicking the tires,” but it has indeed had conversations with Vivendi executives about buying the music division, sources said. The unit is the world’s largest record company,” report Tim Arango and Erica Copulsky for the New York Post.

They continue, “Apple’s interest is said to be stronger than Microsoft’s – but Microsoft might intensify its interest as an April 29 Vivendi board meeting approaches. At that meeting, Vivendi is expected to weigh a variety of proposals for selling its U.S. entertainment assets, which include a movie studio, theme parks and television properties. Representatives of Universal Music and Vivendi declined comment. Spokespersons for Apple and Microsoft did not return calls seeking comment.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Steve Jobs is a master at drumming up publicity. Could this whole “Universal Music Group thing” simply be another Jobs masterstroke to elevate the hype regarding Apple’s rumored online music service? The short-term stock price hit could be deemed worth it by Jobs the showman in order to garner attention for the launch of Apple’s online music service. If Jobs’ goal is to have all eyes on Apple for his announcement, his plan is working flawlessly so far.


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