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Is Apple Looking to Buy Disney?

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the can't-imagine-why dept.

250

louismg writes "This week, Barron's is suggesting that with Steve Jobs on board as the number one shareholder of Disney, following Pixar's acquisition, that Disney is ripe for the plucking for an acquisition by Apple. But look at the numbers. Apple has a $60 billion market cap, and Disney's is over $50 billion. Apple's cash on hand is in the $10 billion range. Wouldn't a Disney acquisition eliminate the possibility of working with NBC's shows on iTunes, or working with Viacom/MTV? It would seem the conflicts and competition would outweigh a purchase of Disney - Pixar or not."

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250 comments

Antitrust (2, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803828)

Apple runs iTunes. Disney produces some content. Serious risk of antitrust action.

Re:Antitrust (1)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803853)

Not with the bush administration. You see Microsoft got away free after being voted a monopoly and look at the recent telco mergers. They don't do the *same* thing, so it will go through no problem.

Re:Antitrust (1)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804218)

You see Microsoft got away free after being voted a monopoly

You can vote someone into being a monopoly? That's interesting news

Re:Antitrust (1)

grogdamighty (884570) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804299)

Wasn't the antitrust investigation into Microsoft during the Clinton administration? Well, I mean... the first one.

Re:Antitrust (1)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803892)

Vertical integration and leveraging would only become monopoly issues if Disney were able to maintain their monopoly on music downloads for a good long time - and there's an argument that CDs and satellite radio are competitors to iTunes for Apple to fall back on.

Maybe so, but ... (0, Flamebait)

argoff (142580) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803922)

Apple runs iTunes. Disney produces some content. Serious risk of antitrust action.

Maybe so, but just look at Disney with their intellectually challenging content production, and Apple with their beautifull non proprietary hardware ;) Who can deny that these two companies truely deserve each other?

Re:Antitrust (1)

tomocoo (699236) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803938)

News Corp owns Fox. News Corp buys DirecTV. Serious risk of antitrust action? No.

Re:Antitrust (2, Interesting)

bloosheep (707371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803942)

Disney produces content. ABC airs content.

Why wasn't that deal stopped years ago, then?

Re:Antitrust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14804146)

Are you a retard in real life or do you just play one on the net?

Re:Antitrust (2, Insightful)

bshensky (110723) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803958)

Oh, c'mon. Comcast buys and decimates TechTV into G4? They own OLN. They own E! Entertainment Television. Style. The Golf Channel. Comcast SportsNet.

Anyone have a problem with Sirius and XM providing "exclusive" content and channels? Didn't think so.

The Bush Admin allows this to happen. The FCC is happy to take long martini lunches while the content deliverers become content providers.

Let's face it. Deregulation amounts to a blank check for media delivery and media creators to fsck 'til the cows come home.

Flame on, dudes...

Re:Antitrust (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803970)

No actually the antitrust law says "to be investigated under this law, your company name should begin with > and end with >"...

Hm, this siddenly explains a lot of stuff!

Re:Antitrust (0, Flamebait)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803980)

No actually the antitrust law says "to be investigated under this law, your company name should begin with [Micro] and end with [soft]"...

Hm, this siddenly explains a lot of stuff!

Re:Antitrust (1)

anothy (83176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804007)

one might think that, and it would probably be a sensible way for antitrust law to work, but it seems not to be the way ours works. co-mingling of content creation and distribution seems to just not be a problem for our legal system.

Re:Antitrust (2, Insightful)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804126)

How is that different from Sony, which produces content and has an online store?

Re:Antitrust (2, Informative)

The Lynxpro (657990) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804152)

"How is that different from Sony, which produces content and has an online store?"

Because Apple's online store is successful (in fact, the dominant online music store) and Sony's (Sony Connect) is not... :)

What everyone also seems to forget - especially with the Sony rootkit debacle - is that Sony's music division is only 50% owned by them. They merged Sony Music with BMG's holdings to create SonyBMG, co-owned by both companies.

Learn from Sony's mistake (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14804234)

Besides, many regard Sony's entry into the Content business as a disaster. A company once respected for stylish and high quality electronics, making tape decks and VCRs, goes out and acquires a division that produces content. Now the content division blames the electronics division for contributing to piracy, leading to all sorts of internal politics, bickering, and inefficiency. Sony misses the boat on hard drive based mp3 players, leaving an opening for Apple to slide in to conquer the market. Basically, the interests of producers of hardware and content are at odds. It would be a bad move for Apple.

Mating of dinosaurs (0)

justthinkit (954982) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803831)

Without Pixar, Disney is nothing. Without iPod, Apple is nothing.

Re:Mating of dinosaurs (4, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803856)

Disney without Pixar is still an incredibly viable company. Pixar made a few good films under Disney but that is all. Disney is a conglomerate that wisely does not rely on one thing to keep it viable. They produce many films under various film companies and while not all are as widely successful as some of their Pixar created works they do very well. Look towards Hollywood and compare the numbers. The sheer number of films being produced shows that it is very few that ever make it well in the theaters.

Sure Disney would have been better off with Pixar still making films for them. Yet Disney can survive failing films better than Pixar could.

As for your Apple comment. Apple still has a very loyal and devoted following for their computer and software products. While not on the scale of Microsoft they are still holding their own and in some cases staging a come-back. The iPod was a stroke of luck. It was the right product at the right time. Apple for all its creativity could leverage that further by opening up the iPod to play DRM'd music provided by other sources but hasn't had to so because they still have a majority of the US market. They might in the future move that way, most likely overseas at first but for now they have no need. As with Disney Apple diversified. They were simply existing with their sales of Macs and related software. With more than one viable revenue stream they are growing. This allows them to take more risks and further expand their original business.

Neither company needs the other.

Re:Mating of dinosaurs (4, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803868)

Agreed, specifically in regards to Apple. The iPod has been a huge success for them, no doubt, and I'm sure they're glad to have that money. But even before the iPod came about, Apple had done a pretty good job of turning around their computer business. They were making profit, OSX was up and coming, and the iMacs, iBooks, and Powerbooks were all well received. Sure, they weren't outselling Dell, but a lot of people forget that you don't have to completely dominate a market to have a successful business.

Re:Mating of dinosaurs (0, Troll)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804118)

I was looking for a mac for my father.

His gateway is dying. Well I figured in 10 years that the mac would have made progress in available software but it has declined seriously since the mid 1990's.

He needs to do his taxes and turbotax and other software is only available for windows now even if the marketshare is higher.

Tax season is coming so guess who is getting another wintel system?

Besides FOSS there is nothing besides a few niche graphical apps. Its still dying and FOSS is great for programmers but not average joes.

PS .. I was looking into getting a macbook pro for school as I am a MIS major and love the FOSS software. I am not anti-mac. But just stating the truth.

Unless Apple can get these vendors to ship products for the mac its not going to be a reality. I blame Microsoft for making c++ on windows so damn proprietary that its not even funny. Its so hard to port for anythign but windows taht many firms who produce software just gave up on non windows platforms.

Re:Mating of dinosaurs (1)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803876)

Apple sells computers too. I think people forget that. Remember we've seen two OSX viruses recently. Do people develop viruses for dead platforms? I think not. Also, I'd guess that OSX and Linux are about equal in terms of installs counting desktops and servers. If its ok to support the underdog (linux) on slashdot, why is every other OS always dead or dying? I maybe only one person, but I personally administer 40 OSX clients and 2 xserves at work and have 4 macs in my home. Apple wouldn't have had the money to make the iPod if it weren't for the iMac and iBook.

Unrelated, on the dead os count I have 3 BSD machines and a sparc running solaris too, but only one machine running Linux. :)

They would still make money (1)

Rayaru (898516) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803834)

NBC would still make money, and Apple would still make a commission, from sales of its shows in iTMS, even if a whole bunch of Disney/Pixar movies suddlenly showed up one day. So no, I don't think it would preclude anything.

Re:They would still make money (1)

capecodcarl (955749) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803851)

I think what the submitter was getting at is that Disney owns ABC so there would be a definite conflict of interest there. NBC's not going to sell its shows through a competitor's service. While we're rumor-mongering I heard that Google was going to buy SCO and open source the Linux kernel and that Microsoft was going to buy Apple and put Windows on all the new Macs.

Re:They would still make money (1)

The Lynxpro (657990) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804175)

"NBC would still make money, and Apple would still make a commission, from sales of its shows in iTMS, even if a whole bunch of Disney/Pixar movies suddlenly showed up one day. So no, I don't think it would preclude anything."

NBC - aka NBC Universal - does what is best for its majority shareholder, GE. Since the tenure of Jack Welch, GE has strived to place itself at #1 and #2 of any industry it competes in. If a division does not achieve those rankings, GE gets out of that business. Thus, according to that philosophy, NBC Universal won't knee-jerk drop its content from the iTunes Store just because Apple and Disney might merge, because there's no other online store that comes close to iTunes and thus NBC Universal would not make as much as they currently do with iTunes if they switched to another offering.

If anything, judging from the current media company trend, if Apple and Disney merged, the former Capital Cities/ABC division would be spun off, just as Viacom split itself back into the separate entities of CBS and Viacom to appease shareholders.

Btw, I'm in agreement with your post...I'm just adding further support to counter any contrary replies.

"News for Nerds?" (5, Insightful)

d.corri (952075) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803837)

More like "Speculation for Nerds."

Re:"News for Nerds?" (1)

vrta (905538) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804081)

More like "Speculation for Nerds. Stuff that might matter soon."

Is Apple looking to buy Disney? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14804278)

No.

Makes sence (0, Flamebait)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803838)

Sell Pixar for extra cash and get control of the board. Then use Apple's power/money to take over Disney.

Afterwards, convert Apple completely into a 'content provider/distributor' and get out of the desktop comptuer market totally. ( that process has already started )

Way to go Jobs. ( that was sarcasm there )

I'll take that bait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14804236)

Booth was an ACTOR. After he shot Lincoln, he jumped to the stage and shouted "Sic Semper Tyrannis!" Now who but some kind of arrogant actor would kill the Emancipator and then jump on stage to shout in Latin the state motto of Virginia? Lest we veer off subject, remember actors are merely content providers. That's a long way from being a patriot. And your spelling of the word sense is not very heroic.

But why would they? (4, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803843)

I don't see what Apple really has to gain from buying Disney that Jobs probably can't negotiate out of Disney already. Rights to put Disney content and pixar content on iTMS? I'm willing to bet that was already talked over heavily during the pixar deal. Does any one think that Apple wants to worry about running theme parks? Even if they could manage to afford it, it doesn't seem like Apple has much to gain by buying them.

Re:But why would they? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14803920)

Utterly, totally and completely off topic but...

Why did you throw a brick at a duck? And what happened next?

Re:But why would they? (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804053)

I was bored. It quacked and threw it back.

Re:But why would they? (1)

thedletterman (926787) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804241)

What did Sony have to gain by buying MGM back in 1990? Did you really think the people who made the walkman wanted to produce movies?

There is nothing to guarantee that Apple will continue their huge lead in the portable media device market, and everything to suggest their enormous profits are to be short lived. The computer business is questionably profitable for Apple, and media and entertainment diversification will be the only thing that keeps Apple from becoming the people who make over-priced computer accessories in five years.

I told everyone I knew 3 years ago that Apple would be migrating to the x86 architecture by 2006. The iPod had outperformed their computer sales, which were then struggling with the gratitious power demands of the G5 processor completely perplexed how to make it work in a laptop.

Re:But why would they? (1)

3D Monkey (808934) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804270)

additionally... why would Jobs want to? He's already getting a fat paycheck cut from the Disney corp... he essentially "owns" the name of Disney already with all the media fantasia over the PIXAR merger.

The people who Steve trusts for creative (John Lassiter [sp?], Ed Catmul, etc...) now have essentially Stalinist control over ALL of Disney's creative (including the imagineers who make the ride concepts and other Disney trinkets) and have already scrapped the probably terrible Toy Story 3. They obviously can take Disney where ever they want already.

So my question again, is WHY whould Apple want to buy Disney when they can very easily enjoy life as partners in content creation and distribution? Steve gets majority say in both companies, and there's no worries about anti-trust.

Re:But why would they? (1)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804335)

and there's no worries about anti-trust.

Not so much Anti-trust, but shareholder lawsuits. A director at Disney can't just throw business to Apple because he owns a stake in both companies -- if the hand isn't played perfectly, other shareholders at Disney will be quite angry.

Name the new company (4, Funny)

Psykechan (255694) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803848)

My vote is for Disnapple!

Re:Name the new company (2, Funny)

vrta (905538) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803873)

Since it is Apple buying Disney, I would choose: "Appney".

Re:Name the new company (1)

colenski (552404) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804049)

Mighty Mouse.

Name for x86 Mac mini !! (4, Funny)

ceeam (39911) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803881)

Mickey Mac (with a special edition Minney mouse).

snapple? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803950)

My vote is for Disnapple!

Taken [snapple.com] .

Re:Name the new company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14804005)

I prefer Appley.

Re:Name the new company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14804027)

Thats too long. How about Dipple?

Re:Name the new company (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804196)

I'm sure that if Apple buys Disney, Mickey Mouse will soon only have one button on his trousers. ;)

Well, IF it happens.... (2, Funny)

wesley96 (934306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803849)

I remember ABC TV's logo getting the Mickey ears on the day Disney acquired them. If Apple takes over Disney, I somehow envision this happening:

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~wgst60/projects/chicago/ Final%20Project_natalia_files/image010.jpg [dartmouth.edu]

Re:Well, IF it happens.... (1)

prichardson (603676) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803896)

Are you going for First Surrealist Post?

Taking the Mickey out of computers (4, Funny)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803861)

...and I always thought that Microsoft make Mickey mouse computer systems...

No Chance (1)

Hangtime (19526) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803862)

Nice pipe dream but these companies are in WAY TWO DIFFERENT BUSINESSES. One is television, movies, theme parks and merchandising. The other is in hi-tech hardware manufacturing, software development, and digital distribution. Putting them together would create a conglomerate and the market HATES conglomerates. If the market wants to diversify they buy Disney and Apple stock not look for Disney and Apple to get together.

Re:No Chance (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803973)

One is television, movies, theme parks and merchandising.

In other words, DIS is already a conglomerate.

Re:No Chance (1)

hhawk (26580) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803982)

Very different businesses! agreed.

So if they did merge, they would have to merge their business goals.. The entertainment thing is something that Apple is big on creating but not really so big on distributing (even w/ iTunes).

What TV network and movide studio is going to use Apple Hardware if its owned by the competition?

Besides the channel conflict (hardware and software) w/ other providers (networks, studios, etc.), unless Apple wanted to get into the home robot market via Animatronics I don't see any synergy. Even if Apple wanted to a) get further into consumer electronics and do TVs, etc. they don't need to buy Disney to get content.

Re:No Chance (1)

AaronGTurner (731883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804000)

Hi tech hardware will be the means of delivering such content. By securing all points you have a vertical market. At the moment Microsoft is better positioned than Apple in terms of providing the last part of this in the home TV/film domain via Windows Media Centre Edition, but Apple potentially has the music and mobile video markets better under control via various iPods. Now if Apple was able to take something the size of a Mac Mini and adapt it to a media centre task then it might have something special. By controlling an important content provider it makes its job easier in terms of delivering content to such a machine (not by much - you wouldn't want to spite your nose too much by not selling to Windows folks too) by just enough to give itself some leverage (probably not a huge amount as you need to deliver content from all sorts of providers, but it might give an edge). You might argue that the switch to Intel is also timely here as it might have better availability of processors (since IBM is likely to be more interested in selling to Sony due to volume and Sony is going to be playing the same game as Apple/Disney with its own content and delivery system, the PS3).

Re:No Chance (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804034)

Not to mention a teeny-tad of brand disharmony? Apple is nothing without style and Disney is a symbol of what's weird and tasteless about America. Will the primary colored blue, red, yellow and black ipod shaped like Mickey have the same appeal?

Re:No Chance (1)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804107)

I absolutely agree with you. This rumor is about as ridiculous as when people said AOL was going to merge with Time-Warner. It just makes no sense, and will absolutely never happen.

Re:No Chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14804157)

The AOL-Time-Warner merger was a mistake and cost Time-Warner dearly. Is your point simply that there's a precedence for stupidity in the market?

I like the way this analyst is thinking! (4, Funny)

wfberg (24378) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803869)

I like the way this analyst is thinking!
Steve Jobs buys a soda "Apple to claim stake in Pepsico!", Steve Jobs steps into a pharmacy to get some painkillers; "Apple poised to take over Merck!"..

I'll make some predictions of my own;
"Larry Ellison to use underwear!"
"Michael Dell poised to drink overpriced bottled water!"
"Bill Gates to live in house with hot&cold running water, roof!"

Re:I like the way this analyst is thinking! (4, Funny)

mccalli (323026) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803879)

"Michael Dell poised to drink overpriced bottled water!"

Yeah, typical PC companies. They're always trying to copy Steve Jobs...

Cheers,
Ian

Re:I like the way this analyst is thinking! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14804087)

"Larry Ellison to use underwear!"

This is rediculous. Everybody knows Ellison goes commando.

Re:I like the way this analyst is thinking! (2, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804319)

Clearly the analysts are wrong here. Speculation is meant to be about companies buying Apple, not about Apple buying companies. They're the beleaguered ones, remember?

Because AOL/TimeWarner/WFTBBQ worked so well (2, Insightful)

Matey-O (518004) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803916)

Remember the last round of huge company consolidation? The TW/AOL group and msnbc folks kinda wish they could forget. Apple is a GREAT hw/sw company, Steve might -own- hw/sw and the media it runs on, but it'd be best to keep them seperate entities in his checkbook ledger.

No chance of Apple buying Disney..... (5, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803925)

It fits none of Apple's agendas to do so, in fact it would create numerous difficulties for both companies. Instead, it would be better to break up Disney into new pieces that reflect operating income better, just like Icahn was trying to do to Time Warner AOL.

Barrons had too many martinis before they wrote that one.

Re:No chance of Apple buying Disney..... (1)

The Lynxpro (657990) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804193)

"It fits none of Apple's agendas to do so, in fact it would create numerous difficulties for both companies. Instead, it would be better to break up Disney into new pieces that reflect operating income better, just like Icahn was trying to do to Time Warner AOL."

Carl Icahn sucks. He has proposed nothing new concerning future scenarios with Time Warner than has not already been addressed by other shareholders and the board. He did not come up with the idea to spin off the Time Warner Cable division. That was already on the table before he even showed up on the scene.

Carl Icahn does what is best for Carl Icahn and nothing else. He got his azz handed to him when he tried to acquire Marvel a few short years ago...

Actually it would make sense... (1)

deacon (40533) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803928)

Apple video ipod needs content.

Disney has lots of it.

Additional benefits are who would be pissed off at this: someone who thinks Tom and Jerry cartoons are a Zionist plot.

Linky:

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=1940 9_Iranian_Madness_Watch&only [littlegreenfootballs.com]

The rest of the copyright industry (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803996)

Apple video ipod needs content. Disney has lots of it.

NBC/Universal, Viacom, CBS (recently divorced from Viacom), Sony (which still owns Sony BMG Records), Fox, and Warner have more. If Apple buys Disney and ABC, it could discourage the rest of the TV and movie industry from offering their works on iTMS.

Re:Actually it would make sense... (1)

eZtreme (940866) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804269)

And how many people would want to watch a mouse on their ipod? Maybe couple decades ago when the mouse was "cool".

Comcast (1)

Hyter (927004) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803933)

Remember when Comcast was going to buy Disney...

Re:Comcast (1)

The Lynxpro (657990) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804200)

"Remember when Comcast was going to buy Disney..."

Comcast should be banned from buying any more companies for at least ten years after their track record with G4 and their acquisition of TechTV. They've burned through at least $1 billion in Comcast shareholder money on that failure already.

Darren McGavin is dead... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14803941)

And you're calling this news? Jesus Fucking Christ! Kolchak is dead!

we know how this movie ends (2, Interesting)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803948)

I could of sworn i saw a similar one called AOL-Timewarner

This news... (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803952)

... somehow fell right on top of another article in my brain: "Apple abandons OSX in favor of Windows". Dvorak did you write that? Hey I see you, Dvorak, don't hide!

Why does Apple keep so much cash on hand (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803956)

the only reason to keep that cash is to help you grow your business(not buy an aging and struggling Disney IMO), but Apple seems to keep an insane amount on hand. If you aren't going to do anything with it why not return it to the shareholders via dividends? Apple doesn't even pay dividends, and it's not like paying dividends is totally unknown in this business. Microsoft was dragged into doing it recently, and hell, even Nintendo does it(not a whole lot, but it's something!)

Re:Why does Apple keep so much cash on hand (1)

The Lynxpro (657990) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804209)

"the only reason to keep that cash is to help you grow your business(not buy an aging and struggling Disney IMO), but Apple seems to keep an insane amount on hand. If you aren't going to do anything with it why not return it to the shareholders via dividends? Apple doesn't even pay dividends, and it's not like paying dividends is totally unknown in this business. Microsoft was dragged into doing it recently, and hell, even Nintendo does it(not a whole lot, but it's something!)"

I'd rather see Apple acquire some great technology with that cash on hand. Say for example TiVo, or Danger (Sidekicks I, II, & III), or even privately held Roxio (for Toast/Jam and a large market share on the Windows side with Easy Media Creator software). We should all remember that Microsoft horded cash for years until its growth started to stagnate/mature, not to mention attracted adventurous litigation hoping to make Microsoft part with that large pile of money through the settlement process. When Apple has $60 billion in the bank, then it will be time to start pressuring them to pay stock dividends.

Gawd, would I love to see Apple acquire both Atari Inc. (aka Infogrames USA) and Midway in order to reunify all that is "Atari" under one roof again, last seen together circa June 1984.

A. They have irregular performance, boom/bust (1)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804356)

Why does Apple keep so much cash on hand?

Because their performance is so irregular, they go from boom to bust, and sometimes spend years at the "beleagured" end of the business spectrum. The cash lets them comfortably weather the bad times until the next "insanely great" product brings in truckloads of profit. Think safety net.

What does Disney really have? (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14803981)

Most of thier "property" is still hanging on a thread thanks to the copyright extensions they sucessfully lobbied for in the past few years.

All they have been doing recently is remakes and sad 'me-toos' of more popular computer/animation films from other companies. And the sequel much of Slashdot would really want to see (Tron) doesn't seem to be going anywhere (which might be a good thing given thier recent releass they'd probably mess it up anyway).

THINK people. Try to get that grey matter working (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14804022)

Imagine every DVD player installed in cars for the kiddies in the back seat becomes an iPod playing Disney content in the form of videos, interactive games and educational software. When the ride is over, the kid takes the splashproof shock-resistant iPod with them where ever they go.

The market for childrens interactive media players is about to explode. Apple is about to ride that wave.

One step Closer (2, Funny)

cspring007 (705809) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804008)

This would move us one step closer to the situation where you buy your entertainment from "the entertainment company" your food from "the food company" and your gas from "the gas company".
Everything else would come from wal-mart

Disney sucks anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14804012)

They hardly ever produce anything worth watching.

Anyone remember AOL and Time Warner? (1)

betelgeuse68 (230611) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804046)

You had a mega content distributor and a mega content creator -- it was supposed to be soooooo synergistic.

Yeah whatever. Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans.

Mega mergers always suck. Plain and simple.

I don't see the point in this. Jobs has become a power player @ Disney through Pixar (not Apple).

Apple shouldn't be concerned about making computer animated films.

In fact whoever is suggesting this marriage is an idiot... be the person initiating this on slashdot and/or the person on the Apple/Disney side (if such a thing exists).

Thumbs down,
-M

Re:Anyone remember AOL and Time Warner? (1)

Xuranova (160813) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804124)

That analogy almost works. The difference being AOL was an over inflated company(see all stock, no substance) and TW didn't stop to consider that. TW was very old school(they actually liked for things to work) as opposed to AOLs we'll figure it out at some pt routine. They were a horrible mismatch from the start. Had TW's management been able to run AOLTW instead of AOLs management running it, things probably would have been a lot better for AOLTW. Apple isn't all stock. They have a model that seems to be working and probably will for the forseeable future. (Everyone saw AOLs high prices, sucky service wasn't going to hold). Disney has a whole lot of crap that people are willing to pay for. I don't think this deal will happen but it would definitely work out a lot better than the AOLTW fiasco.

Sony buys Apple! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14804056)

I vote for Sony buying Apple. Then they could call the company Snapple.

There are cheaper ways.... (1)

seanvaandering (604658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804062)

There are cheaper ways to be a part of the Mickey Mouse club...

Doesn't make sense (1)

wackymacs (865437) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804073)

I like speculation when it makes some sense but this is pure crap. Apple has nothing to gain from buying Disney - Just because Steve Jobs joins the board at Disney doesn't mean he wants to buy them out with Apple. Since when does a computer/electronics company buy a company that produces films? Apple can already get Disney content on iTunes without having to buy them. A more sensible thing would be for Disney to become a subsidiary of Apple but it still wouldn't make much sense for Apple.

I can picture Jobs singing... (1)

Scowler (667000) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804083)

"Yo ho ho ho, a pirate's life for me!"

Magic King (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804092)

Why would Steve Jobs bother buying Disney when he can just run it from his seat on its board of Directors?

Re:Magic King (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14804285)

He doesn't own a controlling interest, just more than any other single entity. It would be quite easy for a few other holders to collude to override anything he wants to push through.

ever noticed... (2, Funny)

mtec (572168) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804099)

In most pictures, Mickey seems to be wearing a black mock turtleneck? No wait. That's fur... right?
Hmmm. Maybe that isn't a turtleneck Jobs wears.

Nothing to do with Apple (4, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804101)

Let's backpedal a bit: What thy hell would Apple do with Disney ? Companies don't just buy each other out with their spare change unless it presents a strategic or financial advantage. Now I'm no market analyst, but I would tend to think if Apple, who is still an underdog in the computer world, wanted to strengthen its foothold in the world of capitalism, they would be looking at acquiring technology or IP from smaller companies, playing corporate PacMan. They're not be big enough to play dirty like Oracle and Microsoft just yet, so they have to think constructively.

Buying Disney would show diversity, which can also be interpreted as Apple losing focus and looking for a backup plan or exit strategy from the computer business. A company with cold feet does not fare well on wall street. Disney is not exactly in a position of great power either, it is past its prime. I think at this point Apple should focus on improving performance within its core operations, be it cost-cutting by acquiring certain part suppliers, or perhaps stepping up the marketing machine and pursuing untapped markets to significantly increase the sales volume. Anything that will give the company lasting power so that in a year or two, they will have grown and have the clout to perform more daring acquisitions. Right now a miscalculated buyout could leave Apple unprepared for things to come, sending them back into the dark ages.

Re:Nothing to do with Apple (1)

jasonditz (597385) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804245)

Just to play devil's advocate, though I'm inclined to agree with what you say, Apple's also positioning itself as something of a digital media company. Disney-branded limited edition iPods, offering downloads of classic disney favorites on iTunes, browbeating EA sports with the newfound ESPN license to start providing OSX versions of its titles... there's lots of stuff they COULD do.

But they could just as easily buy out Nintendo (or a merger of equals) and do lots of amazing stuff there too. Pokemon-branded iPods, Nintendo DS premium edition witth a built-in iPod... streaming media from your Macintosh to your Nintendo Revolution... maybe even use Nintendo's ties with Bandai to get a bunch of anime for the iTunes library.

These rumors are fun to speculate about, but in the end, it probably doesn't make much sense financially (you don't dillute your shares 40-50% just to create some nifty tie-in products)

Imagine the possibilities (2, Interesting)

CloakedKnight (957352) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804109)

Imagine every iPod owner with kids decides to purchase the future KidPod splashproof shock-resistant interactive media player featuring downloaded Disney content (videos, games, educational software), and you begin to see the potential. Every DVD player on the back of a car seat is a potential future KidPod media player. Unlike the delicate and limited DVD players of old (aka today), the sturdy KidPod will be equally at home on the stroller, on the school bus, on the subway, and anywhere your kid goes. The childrens portable interactive media player market is going to explode soon , and Apple might just be planning on taking the lead.

Did apple ever buy pixar? (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804115)

Job wsa in charge of Pixar and Apple, but he never pushed the merger.

Apple appears to prefer flexibility as opposed to monolithic growth. For example, the could easily buy a production and distribution facility to make the new intel machines, say Gateway, but they have not done so. Apple has become a design firm, and they seem to want to stick to that core competency. They are doing some simple things, like iTunes and .MaC to support the customers, but one would how buying disney would be good for customers. Customers want to be able to buy content from anyone.

what about snow white? (3, Funny)

Agrippa (111029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804169)

If Apple buys Disney, do you think they will digitally revamp Snow White so that the witch gives her a poisoned melon instead of a poisoned apple? Maybe they can bring Lucas on board for that, he's good at making your favorite classic movies better through technology.

.agrippa.

Great Now My Kid will have to buy an iPod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14804192)

I can assume that Jobs will only release my child's favorite Disney Movies for iPod. BE fraid be very afraid

Sony a better choice (1)

blamanj (253811) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804215)

While I don't think it's likely to happen, Apple would be far better off buying Sony than Disney. In addition to getting the media assets that Sony has (which are comparable to Disney's), they'd also be expanding their consumer electronics space.

Imagine VAIOs running OS X, Trinitrons that were WiFi/computer-enabled, a giant music library instantly available in iTunes, etc.

Ha ha ha...the tables turn. (1)

llthomps (470748) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804224)

I seem to remember a time when yearly "Disney buys Apple" rumors would pop up.

Obviously, those were all wrong, so I'm going to assume this speculation is wildly off the mark.

In other news... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14804227)

Linux is STILL for fags.

Re:In other news... (1)

josepuerto (951665) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804250)

Remember when Comcast tried to buy Disney? Disney will NEVER sell the company to Apple.

The good thing (1)

SoulRider (148285) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804274)

that could happen if Apple gets Disney is that an opponent to DRM (Jobs claims piracy cannot be solved throught technological means but by giving the customer what they want, and they begrudgingly put DRM into iTunes and still gave us a way to circumvent it), will now own one of the biggest backers of DRM.

ACME? (1)

polemon (743631) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804289)

Hmm, seens like the ACME-Idea isn't that far away anymore...

I hope not. (1)

Sippan (932861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804313)

Apple to me stands for making high quality products that are wonderful to use and that surpass almost all similar manufacturers.

For the love of God do not become responsible for Disney's products.

Does this mean... (1)

SoulRider (148285) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804350)

I am going to be able to watch "Thats So Raven" on my iPod. I am all atingle!

The real question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14804359)

would be: Is an acquisition even neccessary?

Since control of Disney is already in Apple's pocket... why over-extend Apples bank book to purchase Disney and lose NBC content? I think Jobs is smart enough to leave the situation as is and profit from it without the capital outlay.

Now, that's a theory (1)

rfernand79 (643913) | more than 8 years ago | (#14804362)

Well, it does seem unlikely.

Apple's business 1: Computers
Apple's business 2: Digital content (music, video)

Buying Disney gets them a lot of other goodies and seems compatible with their second business line. On these lines, they may very well consider buying Comcast, too.

However... would you really risk your business lines by expanding to some other areas for which you have NO experience? Apple's success with the iPod and the whole online content thing was a calculated risk. They had the tools and the talent. Producing "Mickey Mouse's runaway iPod" shorts... unlikely. True, Jobs CEO'd Pixar, but let's not forget Pixar's success is linked to Lasseter's talent, not Jobs'.

Apple is good at what they do, and they succeeded at entering a new, closely-related business line. That doesn't mean they can jump into anything. It seems as unlikely as Apple buying Gap, just because Jobs served on the board.

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