Apple held potential acquisition talks with Lyft, sources say

“It is not an easy thing to be an independent ride-hailing company these days,” David Gelles and Mike Isaac report for The New York Times. “For one, it takes billions of dollars and hundreds of employees to spread to new cities, to market the service and to recruit drivers. Legislators and local laws are often not in your favor. And competitors with deep pockets from all over the world are waiting to cheer if you happen to fail.”

“Lyft, the second-biggest ride-hailing company in the United States behind Uber, is grappling with those forces — but has found that its options are limited,” Gelles and Isaac report. “The company, which is based in San Francisco, has in recent months held talks or made approaches to sell itself to companies including General Motors, Apple, Google, Amazon, Uber and Didi Chuxing, according to a dozen people who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the discussions were private. One person said it was Lyft who was approached by interested parties.”

“Lyft’s discussions were most serious with G.M., which is one of the ride-hailing company’s largest investors. Still, G.M. never made a written offer to buy Lyft, said the people, and in the end, Lyft did not find a buyer,” Gelles and Isaac report. “Lyft is not in danger of closing down and has a cash cushion of $1.4 billion, some of these people added, so the company will continue as an independent entity.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Having at least two healthy majors, Uber and Lyft, in the market is important for both the drivers and the passengers.

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5 Comments

  1. As one who is still waiting for a descent Mac upgrade, I find this story upsetting. I guess if I need a ride Apple will be there for me. But if I want to upgrade or buy a new Mac in the future, I’m on my own.

    Linus anyone?

    1. The mergers & acquisitions department is a separate organization from the technology R&D department. No critical engineering resources are being redirected by Apple’s exploration of acquiring Lyft.

      But you are free to go to Linux if you choose. That would not bother me in the least. I am sick and tied of the anonymous whining on this forum.

    2. If you’d read the story all the way through, Lyft was talking to a lot of companies, not just Apple. So it’s not like Apple went out of their way to arrange some meeting.

      Also, I can’t imagine the people who would be responsible for sitting in on these talks are the same people responsible for putting out new Macs. Take a deep breath, friend.

  2. I’m not sure this is such a bad business for Apple to enter into, but I’m not sure paying billions + premium for Lyft is worth it.

    Really, there isn’t that much infrastructure needed to support such a system beyond what Apple already has.

    Apple, launching their own “Apple Ride” would be relatively trivial in terms of developing the app, and the backend.

    Additionally, Apple already has hundreds of millions of credit cards on file around the world, and a platform that not only can they place the Apple Ride app on, but also integrate it into the platform… Siri, iCal, Maps, iMessage, Apple Pay, etc…

    From talking with Uber/Lyft drivers, they seem pretty much willing to pickup from whatever service pings them. Meaning, if Apple launches Apple Ride, the drivers will come.

    It makes a lot of sense in terms of the “30% model” where Apple is at and helps leverage them into the auto-industry at a later date.

    * Should be profitable from the start (or shortly thereafter).
    * Provides service and value for ecosystem customers.
    * Attracts new users to the ecosystem.
    * Helps leverage Apple into new business areas.
    * Improves Apple Maps.

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