Apple is pushing into the video market with its own content (that it’s releasing through Apple Music), and it’s doing so with rumors suggesting the company has had eyes on multiple major entertainment companies.
Not too long ago it was rumored that Apple wanted to acquire Time Warner, for instance. While that didn’t pan out, whether because it wasn’t true or because Apple executives changed their minds, the rumor mill is not quite done with the speculation that Apple has, at one point or another, considered acquiring different major entertainment entities.
The latest report from The Financial Times suggests Apple was actually in talks to acquire Imagine Entertainment, which was co-founded by Ron Howard (Apollo 13) and Brian Grazer (A Beautiful Mind). Those talks escalated to a level in which not only was Apple’s Senior Vice President Eddy Cue involved, but so was CEO Tim Cook.
“The iPhone maker has been stalking Hollywood for more than a year, talking to leading industry players while it tries to formulate a cogent video strategy. It has considered a range of acquisitions and targets including, most recently, Imagine Entertainment, the Hollywood production company owned by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, according to several people briefed on the discussions.”
They eventually “fizzled out,” however, with no exact reason provided.
These types of talks generally cover a variety of different results. These were no different, with the FT report suggesting Apple was not only considering acquiring Imagine Entertainment altogether, but also weighing “first-look” rights, which would mean top-tier distribution rights for Imagine Entertainment releases, via iTunes.
The reasons why these talks didn’t go anywhere are unknown, but this report surfaces only a day after a separate report outlined Apple’s tough negotiation tactics, making it clear that these elements make it tough for Apple to secure high-end acquisitions. In that report, analysts debated whether or not Apple should try to acquire another huge name in video streaming, Netflix, but that was purely speculation.[via FT]