Apple eyeing WarnerMedia-Discovery in its largest acquisition ever?

The combined WarnerMedia-Discovery, a company that will likely have a market capitalization of more than $100 billion when it begins trading publicly next year, (assuming regulatory approval), has been structured to make a future buyout easier. Apple is one of a handful of companies that could afford to acquire it.

Apple TV+

Alex Sherman for CNBC:

But it’s not clear whether Apple has any interest in a major media acquisition. The company’s history suggests Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook would shy away from a huge deal. Apple’s biggest deal ever was a mere $3 billion — for headphones maker Beats Electronics in 2014…

But, to quote a frequently used investment phrase, past performance is no guarantee of future results. Apple has made a relatively small investment in original content, with such series as “Ted Lasso” and “The Morning Show,” and Apple TV+ remains a minnow among streaming giants Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney and the newly combined WarnerMedia-Discovery. If Apple wants to compete, the easiest way forward is to buy a media giant — and there are already some historical ties between WarnerMedia and Apple.

In 2015, Cook, Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services, Jeff Bewkes, CEO of the then-named Time Warner, and former Time Warner Executive Vice President Olaf Olafsson met to discuss partnership opportunities around Apple exclusively offering Time Warner’s content, according to people familiar with the matter… During the talks, Bewkes and Cook broached the subject of Apple acquiring Time Warner… Cue expressed interest in a full acquisition, but Cook ultimately wasn’t ready to pull the trigger on what likely would have been a nearly $100 billion deal, two of the people said.

If Apple wants to stay in the streaming video world, Cook may need to buck the company’s history of avoiding big-money M&A. The WarnerMedia-Discovery deal isn’t expected to close until mid-2022. That gives Cook a year to do some serious thinking about his company’s future.

MacDailyNews Take: A massive acquisition now might make Apple even more of a target for overzealous antitrust crusaders, but there is plenty of competition in streaming media and Apple is, thus far, a niche player, opting to build a library from scratch that focuses on quality over quantity. We can’t imagine even the most regulation-happy politicians objecting to an Apple acquisition of WarnerMedia-Discovery on competition grounds, but it may draw their interest to other parts of Apple’s wide-ranging business. So, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to a massive acquisition that would be 33+ times larger than anything Apple has done before.

19 Comments

    1. Yes, the woke snowflakes need their SAFE SPACE. Everywhere else, leave it up to courageous adventurous pioneers. The Millennials are the sorriest generation in our nation’s history. God help us when they are in power, only positive they will make the overbearing Baby Boomers look good by comparison…

      1. You’re the one who is constantly whining and complaining, endlessly… like a snowflake. You get upset about everything GoeB. Look in the mirror. The snowflake you’re talking about is staring back at you.

  1. Is 2d Media (film, streaming TV, etc.) really the future? . . . We see these multi-billion dollar media companies, but is the content they are selling still going to be as valuable in 10 years? 20 years? . . . Or will it be Augmented Reality? — A few years back we saw a strange phenomenon, during the Pokemon Go phase. Complete strangers were gathering in public places, “seeing” something that was invisible to people without the app . . . So think of Pokemon Go like the Palm Pilot–a blip of the future, but which didn’t fully come to fruition until new technologies converged in the iPhone 10 years later . . . When Apple releases augmented reality glasses in a few years, imagine being able to “overlay” a 3D gaming environment onto the real world — you could “play” interactive games in your own community . . . In such a future, would you be laying on your couch watching Netflix?

    1. Yes, but you need to own the original IP to push it out via AR or VR. Owning the rights to James Bond movies, or Marvel’s comic characters, doesn’t limit you to 2D exhibition. You don’t just own a bunch of old movies and TV shows, you own the rights to all those characters and back stories.

  2. Discovery+ is the ONLY channel to which I subscribe. Fun, light shows. Apple TV+ is currently free. Disney+ I get via my son’s Verizon account, ESPN and such my folks cable account, and Netflix comes with our T-Mobile account.

    Again, Disney+ is all we pay out-of-pocket for and if those others disappeared tomorrow, I wouldn’t re-subscribe either.

    However, if Apple snagged Discovery+, wow, in my book that would be huge, and I would subscribe to the Apple TV/Discovery+ package.

  3. That’s the reason of why people are loving the Apple product. I have been using Apple since 2014 and I like their updated news about their quality products. This is my favorite https://lesbi.land/ website for having a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing this post with us!

  4. Apple is too elitist and way to CAUTIOUS under SJW Cook to own OLDER content from a bygone era.

    The woke snowflakes can’t handle anything outside their narrow beliefs and prefer to CANCEL EVERYTHING that remotely offends them. Rather than simply pointing out the truth, I’ll switch gears and hope beyond hope — grow up as mature adults and RESPECT DIFFERENCES.

    OK, I’m over hope I don’t see that happening, if ever, until Millennials are eyeing retirement.

    Apple already passed on many mergers from the Golden Age of Hollywood studios and don’t see it happening now. Could you imagine merging elitist custom Apple content present day with politically incorrect movies and shows from the past? The spaceship would be in all out REVOLT. Example, Bugs Bunny and Johnny Quest were canceled years ago from broadcast TV something I still can’t believe, but still live on if you know where to find these outstanding classic cartoons.

    Apple passed on Netflix, Disney acquisition, NFL Ticket, other studios and on and on…

  5. Buying any large media company could still be done by Apple. They could buy a media company and select, from it’s movies and shows, all of the content that they feel is in keeping with their quality standards. The rest could be leased to other less quality concerned companies providing a cash flow from those assets without polluting Apple TV+.

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