Tim Cook on Big Acquisitions: ‘We Have No Problem Spending Ten Figures for the Right Company’

Re: the previous item, here’s Tim Cook just 15 days ago:

WSJ: Apple has never made a billion-dollar acquisition. Google is snapping up everyone including your old friends at Nest. Does this alter how you think about bigger deals?

Cook: We’ve looked at big companies. We don’t have a predisposition not to buy big companies. The money is also not burning a hole in our pocket where we say let’s make a list of 10 and pick the best one. We’re not doing that. We have no problem spending ten figures for the right company that’s the right and that’s in the best interest of Apple in the long-term. None. Zero.

But we’re not going to go out and buy something for the purposes of just being big. Something that makes more fantastic products, something that’s very strategic — all these things are of interest and we’re always looking regardless of size.

So maybe my pointing out that Apple has never made a big acquisition like WhatsApp is irrelevant. Cook makes very clear that Apple would if it wanted to, if it were “very strategic”. I think my point stands though, that iMessage and FaceTime have Apple’s interests covered strategically.

Perhaps a better example based on observation of Apple’s history: I can’t recall Apple ever buying a competitor just to eliminate the competition. Facebook is taking an “If you can’t beat them, own them” approach. Apple doesn’t do that. They only make acquisitions that integrate.

Friday, 21 February 2014