Time Warner discussed a potential acquisition by Apple back in 2015
Apple would have dropped $100 billion on the deal.
What you need to know
- Apple talked about potentially acquiring Time Warner back in 2015.
- Time Warner eventually sold itself to AT&T for $100 billion.
AT&T and Discovery, when talking about putting together their content, almost considered an acquisition by other streaming companies like Apple.
As reported by CNBC, WarnerMedia-Discovery will apparently have a market capitalization of more than $100 billion when it begins trading next year. While Apple could more than afford the acquisition, as it currently has a market valuation of $2.1 trillion, its biggest acquisition to date was back in 2014 when it purchased Beats Electronics for $3 billion.
During talks back in 2015, the idea of the Time Warner acquisition by Apple was discussed but never made it far.
During the talks, Bewkes and Cook broached the subject of Apple acquiring Time Warner to deal with one of the biggest hurdles of the $19-per-month concept: What if Apple or Time Warner eventually wanted to back out? Once the companies went live with the offer, they'd need to stay aligned. Walking away from the deal could be disastrous to both companies' external relationships.
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. Neither Bewkes nor Cook had initially expected the talks to lead to thoughts of an acquisition, said the people. Time Warner had successfully fought off a hostile takeover offer from Fox a year earlier.
A year later, in late 2016, Bewkes agreed to sell Time Warner to AT&T for more than $105 billion including debt.
Apple also has a deal with the former chief of HBO, another potential in on acquisition deals.
Plepler left HBO after disagreeing with current AT&T CEO John Stankey about the direction of the premium network, as detailed by CNBC last year.
Months later, he signed a five-year deal with Apple TV+ to produce TV series, documentaries and feature films exclusively for the streaming service. The coronavirus pandemic delayed the production of most of Plepler's efforts, but some of his work at Eden Productions is beginning to trickle out, such as the limited series "In With The Devil," starring Greg Kinnear, Sepideh Moafi, Taron Egerton and Ray Liotta.
Apple TV+ is still a small streaming service when compared to other giants like Netflix and Disney+. While Apple is still slowly ramping up its service, recent announcements do show that the streaming service plans to focus on fewer but higher production pieces of content featuring big names.
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