The Future. The rumor that Disney could sell to Apple is gaining steam again, as Bob Iger’s second run as CEO has put the storied company in selling mode. The historic deal is likely a long shot, and there’s little indication Disney no longer wants to be independent. Still, a deal with the tech giant could kick off a studio auction that reshapes Hollywood to be run by Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and maybe one other super studio/streamer — all conglomerates that don’t need to make money the traditional way off of film and TV to stay profitable.
Could Apple mortgage the Mouse House? Kim Masters at THR is connecting the dots that, this time, it could be a real possibility.
- Iger has been in sales mode, suggesting at Sun Valley that Disney’s linear TV networks could be up for sale, which, mixed with other TV assets like FX and Nat Geo, could net the company around $50 billion.
- He even tapped former lieutenants Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs to consult on those potential deals, as well as what to do with Hulu (another wrinkle).
- And selling those properties (and maybe Searchlight and 20th Century) would be key to making the diet Disney buyable.
- Apple certainly has the money to make the acquisition and has toyed with the idea of buying a studio to bolster Apple TV+.
Disney and Apple have had a long-term relationship, with Steve Jobs sitting on Disney’s board until he passed. Iger sat on Apple’s board for years and held court at the Vision Pro launch, even writing in his memoir, “I believe if Steve were still alive, we would have combined our companies, or at least discussed the possibility very seriously.”
Whether or not Disney and Apple want to join hands, the federal government will probably raise a stink about it… although where a judge would land is a toss-up. While Simon & Schuster’s merger with Penguin Random House was blocked, Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is allowed to go through. So… 🤷