Apple reportedly held preliminary acquisition talks with MGM

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2020
In efforts to to build out its fledgling Apple TV+ streaming service with original programming and exclusive content, Apple recently agreed to discuss a potential acquisition of media titan MGM, according to a report on Sunday.




Citing sources familiar with the matter, CNBC reports MGM held talks with a number of companies, including digital media distributors Apple and Netflix, to gauge interest in a possible sale. Whether those discussions are ongoing remains unknown. Rumors last month suggested Apple was in negotiations to secure content from MGM Epix.

Today's report, which focuses on the survival of traditional media companies in a landscape transformed by online streaming, notes MGM is among a handful of firms that finds themselves at a severe disadvantage to larger, fast-moving competitors.

Prompting the change are two major industry shifts: a move from linear cable TV to streaming and the consolidation of media corporations. A transition to streaming has been in the offing for years, but only recently have companies actively sought out established content owners. For example, Disney last May completed a $70 billion acquisition of Fox, while Viacom and CBS merged in a $30 billion deal later in the year.

Driven by streaming technologies, it is no surprise that the new era of media sees big tech players holding stake in the once closed industry. In late 2018, Comcast completed a buyout of Sky worth some $40 billion. Earlier that year, telecommunications giant AT&T finalized an $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner to further its streaming entertainment aspirations under what would become the WarnerMedia banner.

Amid the tumult, traditional media companies with enterprise values below $50 billion find themselves in a tenuous position. AMC Networks, Discovery, Lions Gate, MGM, Sony Pictures and ViacomCBS were named in the report as being ripe for sale, with MGM being a particularly good candidate due in part to an owners group comprised of hedge funds.

Apple is known to be on the lookout for hot media prospects and last year was reportedly in a bidding war for J.J. Abrams studio Bad Robot, a contest ultimately lost to WarnerMedia. Past rumors suggested Apple was exploring the acquisition of Oscar-winning film studio A24.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    Apple still needs better content, more selection of movies to watch, not just their own productions. As well as live stream tv for me to keep the service beyond my free trial. 
    mistertrickdonjuan
  • Reply 2 of 20
    This is what I’ve been saying. Apple needs to acquire or sign an exclusive license with a studio with a vast content library to be competitive with all of the other services. MGM would be pretty good for their collection of classics, but Sony Pictures would be great for more modern titles (including their control over the Spider-Man license from Marvel).
    cornchiptieboyolsjahbladedonjuan
  • Reply 3 of 20
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,154member
    pinbot61 said:
    Apple still needs better content, more selection of movies to watch, not just their own productions. As well as live stream tv for me to keep the service beyond my free trial. 
    Live stream tv? Explain why that in particular is needed? Why would I want to make myself sit at home at a certain special time, when I could instead stream the show/movie on demand? What is the value add?
    Above_The_Godssvanstromfastasleepchasm
  • Reply 4 of 20
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,424member
    This is what I’ve been saying. Apple needs to acquire or sign an exclusive license with a studio with a vast content library to be competitive with all of the other services. MGM would be pretty good for their collection of classics, but Sony Pictures would be great for more modern titles (including their control over the Spider-Man license from Marvel).
    I agree.  Sony would be a better choice.
    SpamSandwicholsMacProseanismorrisdonjuan
  • Reply 5 of 20
    steveausteveau Posts: 286member
    pinbot61 said:
    Apple still needs better content, more selection of movies to watch, not just their own productions. As well as live stream tv for me to keep the service beyond my free trial. 
    Live stream tv? Explain why that in particular is needed? Why would I want to make myself sit at home at a certain special time, when I could instead stream the show/movie on demand? What is the value add?
    To watch the news and live sport perhaps?
    entropysCloudTalkinjahbladedonjuanchemengin1
  • Reply 6 of 20
    entropysentropys Posts: 2,880member
    steveau said:
    pinbot61 said:
    Apple still needs better content, more selection of movies to watch, not just their own productions. As well as live stream tv for me to keep the service beyond my free trial. 
    Live stream tv? Explain why that in particular is needed? Why would I want to make myself sit at home at a certain special time, when I could instead stream the show/movie on demand? What is the value add?
    To watch the news and live sport perhaps?
    Live sport in particular. A money machine.
    jahbladechemengin1
  • Reply 7 of 20
    entropysentropys Posts: 2,880member
    Apple has to do something like this. At the moment if I was to sum up Apple TV+ content, it would be a self indulgent and barren landscape with a few gems but overall Very Public Television. 
    A year free is the right price, would not pay for it.
    CloudTalkindonjuan
  • Reply 8 of 20
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,251member
    This is what I’ve been saying. Apple needs to acquire or sign an exclusive license with a studio with a vast content library to be competitive with all of the other services. MGM would be pretty good for their collection of classics, but Sony Pictures would be great for more modern titles (including their control over the Spider-Man license from Marvel).
    Agreed, Sony would be a great fit.
  • Reply 9 of 20
    Without knowing the explicit merits or drawbacks of the case, this is good -- for two reasons:
    1)  Yes, Apple needs to expand its library if it wants it current initiative to work.
    2)  Apple needs to channel its room fulls of excess cash to invest in its business rather than charity give-aways to stock holders that do nothing to support or expand the business.   Its a primary reason why American industry failed in the 80's:   instead of investing in their businesses they spent their cash elsewhere and competition passed them by with superior products made cheaper and faster.
  • Reply 10 of 20
    In all honesty, with the massive amount of Cash on hand, I'd go for the Big Tuna and buy ViacomCBS, you'd get a full fledged broadcast network, so many cable channels, CBS News division, CBS Sports with their NFL and College Football and Basketball coverage, and Paramount studios and it's back catalog with one of the most prestigious IPs out there: Star Trek
    beeble42
  • Reply 11 of 20
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,422member
    This is what I’ve been saying. Apple needs to acquire or sign an exclusive license with a studio with a vast content library to be competitive with all of the other services. MGM would be pretty good for their collection of classics, but Sony Pictures would be great for more modern titles (including their control over the Spider-Man license from Marvel).
    I agree.  Sony would be a better choice.

    All of Sony, not just Sony Pictures. Apple could use another consumer (and professional) brand to expand their platforms.
  • Reply 12 of 20
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 1,430member
    Corporate consolidation is the beginning of the death spiral of capitalism. The end to diversity in our culture, fashion, art, entertainment, and consumerism. 
    frankie
  • Reply 13 of 20
    Apple generally doesn’t make purchases this large.  This would be a fundamental shift in strategy if it goes through.  I’ve noticed Apple being increasing aggressive in PC pricing (which is also not normal) so I can’t just discount the rumor.
  • Reply 14 of 20
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,238member
    spice-boy said:
    Corporate consolidation is the beginning of the death spiral of capitalism. The end to diversity in our culture, fashion, art, entertainment, and consumerism. 

    JP Morgan kind of made an art of it -- and helped to build the U.S. into an industrial powerhouse.

    Unfortunately, today its mostly just private equity taking over a company, loading it up with debt and then milking it to death.
  • Reply 15 of 20
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,238member
    Apple generally doesn’t make purchases this large.  This would be a fundamental shift in strategy if it goes through.  I’ve noticed Apple being increasing aggressive in PC pricing (which is also not normal) so I can’t just discount the rumor.

    That's true.   But then they were not swimming in so much cash that they could not invest it in the core business and instead had to give it away to shareholders.

    Done well, diversification can make a company stronger.  But lately few do it well.  Ask HP.
  • Reply 16 of 20
    frankiefrankie Posts: 378member
    spice-boy said:
    Corporate consolidation is the beginning of the death spiral of capitalism. The end to diversity in our culture, fashion, art, entertainment, and consumerism. 
    I agree with you but think we are way past that.  Huge corp companies will just continue to buy our government until the world is left with 50 companies that own the planet.  And people are too ignorant and distracted by media to realize it and vote differently.  So much for 'freedom' huh?
  • Reply 17 of 20
    frankie said:
    spice-boy said:
    Corporate consolidation is the beginning of the death spiral of capitalism. The end to diversity in our culture, fashion, art, entertainment, and consumerism. 
    I agree with you but think we are way past that.  Huge corp companies will just continue to buy our government until the world is left with 50 companies that own the planet.  And people are too ignorant and distracted by media to realize it and vote differently.  So much for 'freedom' huh?

    Actually, 100 years ago it far worse.   Anti-trust rules brought it (mostly) under control.   But, certain politicians have greatly relaxed those rules in the belief that government is the enemy of business.
  • Reply 18 of 20
    entropys said:
    steveau said:
    pinbot61 said:
    Apple still needs better content, more selection of movies to watch, not just their own productions. As well as live stream tv for me to keep the service beyond my free trial. 
    Live stream tv? Explain why that in particular is needed? Why would I want to make myself sit at home at a certain special time, when I could instead stream the show/movie on demand? What is the value add?
    To watch the news and live sport perhaps?
    Live sport in particular. A money machine.
    So do you want users to be prohibited from watching a live sporting event a half hour, or a whole day, late? What actual benefit does a restriction like that provide us?
  • Reply 19 of 20
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,802member
    Perhaps 007 can finally use an iPhone instead a crappy Sony. 
  • Reply 20 of 20
    FatmanFatman Posts: 513member
    It’s just a matter of time before a major studio acquisition by Apple is introduced ... and a full on streaming service 
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