Is Apple Going To Own Marvel?
Far be it for me to report on Wall Street rumors… but I’m going to report on a Wall Street rumor. This one’s too good to pass up.
Apple, the people who make the computer I’m typing on right now, is the world’s second largest company when measured in market capitalization. They’ve got $51 billion in cash and investments, an amount that is somewhat in excess of comprehension. It is likely that the hot shit gizmo maker will use some of this money to buy something cool – they do that all the time.
Leading the pack of rumor dogs is Sony, which owns Columbia Pictures. That’s not a great fit – Sony is heavily invested in retro technology and, besides, international hostile takeovers rarely succeed in Japan. They also developed Blu-Ray, which Apple hates. Barron’s, the Rupert Murdoch owned business weekly, noted several potential takeover targets: the aforementioned Sony, the software manufacturer Adobe (which is in a blood feud with Apple right now), Facebook… and Disney.
Apple honcho Steve Jobs is Disney’s largest stockholder. He’s on Disney’s board. He used to own Pixar, before he sold it to Disney.
Disney owns Marvel.
Last week, Jobs stated Apple will use that $51 billion for “big moves.” Acquiring Disney takes enormous ego, and if there’s anything Apple has in excess of cash reserves, it’s ego.
We note that when Apple launched its revolutionary iPad (which, by the way, I regard as a wonderful comic book reader), Marvel’s comic book app was one of their very top “sellers.” That’s in quotes because the app is free, although most of the comic books are not and Apple gets 30% of the “cover price.” So Marvel received great exposure in the Apple App Store. Remember, Marvel is owned by Disney and Jobs is the biggest mouse on their lot.
Disney’s ABC-TV has a bunch of Marvel properties in development
and Marvel has promoting Disney’s new Tron movie as though it starred Iron Man.
There’s a lot of reasons why this could happen. There are a lot of reasons why it wouldn’t: quite frankly, there are better investments than Disney. But still, it’s a real nice fit.
I can hardly wait for the inevitable Disneyland Justin Long “I’m A Mac” thrill ride.