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Tim Cook contrasts Apple M&A with other Big Tech



Apple CEO Tim Cook delivers a keynote address during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in 2020 at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California.

Brooks Kraft / Apple Inc. / Design via Reuters

Apple buys a lot of smaller companies and doesn̵

7;t talk about what it plans to do with them.

On Thursday, however, Apple CEO Tim Cook in an interview with CNBC shed some light on the company’s acquisition strategy, while in contrast to other major technology companies that testified before the House Antitrust subcommittee on Wednesday.

“If you look at the things behind the investigation, it’s acquisitions, and if you noticed, we didn’t get any questions about acquisitions, because our approach to acquisitions was to buy the companies we’re in trouble with, and IP, and then make they function as a phone, “Cook said in an interview.

Cook claims that Apple does not buy competitors – it buys companies that have products or other technologies that Apple can turn into properties.

Although Cook stopped naming its Big Tech rivals, emails released by the subcommittee on Thursday show that Facebook executives were discussing the acquisition of Instagram internally in connection with the foreclosure of a competitor. Emails also showed that Amazon employees underestimated Diapers.com’s price in order to gain market share. In 2010, Amazon bought its parent company Quidsi.

Cook reinforced his opinion: “An example of this was Touch ID. We bought a company that accelerated Touch ID at some point. ”

There are other examples: In 2017, Apple purchased the Workflow automation application, which is now a Shortcuts application built into iPhones. In 2018, he purchased the Texture digital subscription service, which is now the basis of Apple News +. Users of Animoji avatars can fall into the lyrics that emerged from the acquisition of FaceShift in 2015. Siri was the product of the acquisition. Apple’s leading mobile chips are a direct result of the purchase of PA Semi in 2008.

Other deals concerned companies that are closer to Apple’s competitors. In 2017, Apple from Finland bought Beddit, a hardware sleep tracker. Apple still sells bedding and even upgraded the hardware, but in 2019 many features were removed and Apple will add a sleep monitor feature in the fall as a feature in its latest Apple Watch software.

Apple buys many smaller companies and does not always announce acquisitions. So far, five purchases from Apple have been announced in 2020, none of which has an official price for the transaction. Most Apple acquisitions are small enough that the company does not have to notify the SEC

Cook said last year that Apple buys the company every few weeks. Apple’s largest historical store was for Beats in 2014 for $ 3 billion. Apple is still selling Beats headphones and has transformed its streaming music service into Apple Music.


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