Apple, Time Warner executives discussed acquisition in 2015

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple may be one of the few companies with the balance sheet to purchase WarnerMedia-Discovery, and it has historical ties to the media company, including past talks of a takeover.

Credit: AppleInsider
Credit: AppleInsider


AT&T intends to merge its WarnerMedia assets with Discovery in a deal structured specifically to give the company flexibility. According to CNBC, that could lead to a future merger or sale down the road -- maybe to Apple.

It's likely that the WarnerMedia-Discovery company will have a market capitalization of more than $100 billion when it begins publicly trading in 2022. Apple is among a few companies that has the cash to make such an acquisition.

Although it's unclear whether Apple is interested in buying a media giant, CNBC has highlighted some of the historical ties between WarnerMedia and the Cupertino tech giant.

In 2015, for example, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Apple SVP of software and services Eddy Cue met with Jeff Bewkes, the CEO of then-named Time Warner, and former Time Warner executive VP Olaf Olafsson. The executives met to discuss potential partnership opportunities surrounding Apple offering Time Warner content.

For example, the executives talked about offering Turner and HBO content outside of the cable bundle for $19 a month. At the time, HBO Go was available separately from the cable ecosystem, but it didn't include CNN, TBS, TNT, or other Turner networks.

They discussed Apple being the exclusive provider of the offer, giving Apple customers the opportunity to purchase the bundle through the iTunes stores. However, concerns were raised about the deal hurting both companies' other relationships.

Although the companies backed away from the idea, Cook and Bewkes reportedly discussed Apple acquiring Time Warner in an effort to do away with their concerns. Although Cue expressed interest in an acquisition, Cook wasn't ready to commit to what would have likely become a $100 billion deal.

In late 2016, Bewkes inked a deal to sell Time Warner to AT&T for more than $105 billion, including debt. That same year, Bewkes said that Apple was never "serious" about acquiring Time Warner.

Apple also has another connection to the WarnerMedia company: Former HBO chief Richard Piepler, who signed a five-year deal to produce content for Apple TV+ in June 2020.

While Apple is currently under antitrust scrutiny and a deal as large as a Time Warner acquisition could raise alarms, the takeover could boost the profile of Apple TV+. Apple's premium streaming service has largely failed to see the same success as rivals like Netflix, Amazon, or Disney+.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,525member
    IF Apple acquired Time Warner they should keep it away from Apple TV+ and have the catalogue as a separate subscription service OR license the content to 3rd party services like Netflix and Disney.
  • Reply 2 of 5
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,263member
    Beats said:
    IF Apple acquired Time Warner they should keep it away from Apple TV+ and have the catalogue as a separate subscription service OR license the content to 3rd party services like Netflix and Disney.
    Why? The purpose for Apple TV+ is to give Apple a footprint in Streaming Video. Without that they are at the mercy of partnerships that go sour when competitors buy the partners and and limit our access to content. By having a service on iOS they control creates an  incentive for competitors to remain there as well with their A game content. 
    ravnorodombyronl
  • Reply 3 of 5
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,525member
    genovelle said:
    Beats said:
    IF Apple acquired Time Warner they should keep it away from Apple TV+ and have the catalogue as a separate subscription service OR license the content to 3rd party services like Netflix and Disney.
    Why? The purpose for Apple TV+ is to give Apple a footprint in Streaming Video. Without that they are at the mercy of partnerships that go sour when competitors buy the partners and and limit our access to content. By having a service on iOS they control creates an  incentive for competitors to remain there as well with their A game content. 

    Because the allure/innovation of AppleTV+ Is all original content.

    By licensing they make money off everyone if they choose to or make contracts.
  • Reply 4 of 5
    danoxdanox Posts: 599member
    Thank You for not buying them Apple, everyone of those parasitic content companies has been sold many times, the only companies Apple missed on that hurt were Pixar (Jobs choice) and Marvel both are new in comparison to old Hollywood.

    Steve Jobs doesn’t appear to have been a gamer, science fiction or comic book reader and his distaste? Has rubbed off on Apple. Maybe the Epic fiasco will awaken the giant when it comes to real gaming….. 
  • Reply 5 of 5
    ravnorodomravnorodom Posts: 353member
    I think Apple TV+ needs this. Apple TV+ original contents are great but minuscule collection overall. I will probably cancel it after 1 year free trial. Netflix is still the king of streaming.
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