There have been speculations that Apple buying Disney since Disney purchased Pixar Animation Studios in 2006. Now that Bob Iger is back in charge, there is renewed talk that he may seal his legacy by selling the company to Apple (or some other mega buyer). A studio insider told The Wrap that “this is the pinnacle deal for the ultimate dealmaker.”
Apple buying Disney is again a possibility with Bob Iger’s return
During Iger’s tenure, he embarked on a purchasing frenzy, acquiring some of the world’s most well-known entertainment firms, including Marvel and Lucasfilm. Disney+, the company’s subscription streaming service, was an instant success. In three years, Disney+ has gained slightly more than 164 million subscribers. They’ve surpassed Netflix in total subscribers when combined with Hulu and ESPN – figures Apple can only dream of with Apple TV+.
Apple CEO Tim Cook stated on an investor call this past April, “We’re always looking to buy companies, we acquire a lot of smaller companies and we’ll continue to do that to add more talent to the IP. We don’t discount anything big if the opportunity presents itself. I won’t be looking at our inventory with you on this call, but we’re always looking.” He also stated that Apple “would not rule out acquiring a large company” and that “the main drive was to secure strong intellectual property and big names.”
Iger, a personal friend of Steve Jobs, co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple until his death in 2011, believed Apple and Disney might have merged. “It’s impossible not to have the conversation with him in my head that I wish I could be having in real life,” he said in his 2019 autobiography, The Ride of a Lifetime. “More than that, I believe that if Steve were still alive, we would have combined our companies, or at least discussed the possibility very seriously.”
Iger and Cook appear to have a nice and amicable connection as well. “I think Tim has done a great job,” Iger remarked in a 2019 interview with CNBC, adding “And no matter what direction you look, no matter how you point, I think you conclude that that company is one of the great companies in the world.”
According to The Wrap, while there are many benefits to a Disney-Apple combination, there may be certain barriers that make it tough. First and foremost, Disney is a massive corporation with a market capitalization of over $180 billion. Although a merger a few years ago could have been more challenging because Disney was approaching $200 per share in 2021, the stock has taken a battering in the last eight months.
Another impediment might be regulatory opposition. “A deal of that size is likely to attract stiff antitrust resistance at a moment when regulators have stepped up efforts to block other recently proposed media mega deals.” Deals like the proposed combination of publishing behemoths Simon & Schuster and Penguin Books, as well as Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, are attracting the discontent of regulators.
Whatever the case may be, the route ahead for Disney CEO Bob Iger as he returns to the throne is clear. Apple buying Disney would solidify his status as The Walt Disney Company’s last CEO. The path ahead is littered with opportunities. While only time will tell if this deal will ever happen, we recommend that you check out some of our other articles like Apple protests China are taking a violent turn as Covid-19 cases increase, or Sorry Twitter, Gen Z is moving to a new social media to pass the time and learn more about what is going on in the tech world.