“They are sort of not interested (in buying Time Warner) at this time,” CNBC’s David Faber said on the cabler’s “Squawk on the Street” Wednesday, citing anonymous sources familiar with Apple’s thinking.
Late last year, Apple senior VP of internet software and services Eddy Cue reportedly met informally with Time Warner head of strategy Olaf Olafsson, where the notion of a merger was floated. Apple had been monitoring the AT&T-Time Warner negotiations leading up to the official Oct. 22 announcement, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Last week Apple CEO Tim Cook rekindled speculation that it might make a play for Time Warner after he told analysts on the company’s quarterly earnings call that Apple is “open to acquisitions of any size” if there’s a strategic fit.
“We look at a whole variety of companies, and based on that we choose whether to move forward or not,” Cook said. “But we’re definitely open, and we definitely look.”
For now, it appears that AT&T will be the lone bidder for Time Warner, with a host of regulatory hurdles to clear before the deal is done. The telco has said it expects to close the transaction by the end of 2017.
If Time Warner were to accept a higher bid, the media conglomerate would pay a $1.725 billion breakup fee to AT&T. The telco would pay Time Warner $500 million if the merger is blocked by regulators.