Disney Chairman Iger: Apple merger talks would have happened had Jobs not died

Disney Chairman Iger: Apple merger talks would have happened had Jobs not died
Back in 2019, former Disney CEO Bob Iger's autobiography contained an interesting "what if." Iger wrote that had Steve Jobs not passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2011, Disney and Apple might have initiated talks that would have resulted in a merger of the two companies. Iger, who is resigning as Disney Chairman at the end of this month, brought this fantasy scenario up again during a new interview on CNBC.

Iger admitted that the topic of combining the two firms never was discussed while Jobs was alive. Still, the Disney executive says that had Jobs lived, he is sure that the two of them would have eventually had talks about a merger. "I’m pretty convinced we would have had that discussion. … I think we would have gotten there," Iger said of a potential Apple-Disney merger.

As many of you already know, Steve Jobs was running Pixar when the computerized animation company was sold to Disney in January 2006 for $7.4 billion. The deal made Jobs the largest Disney stockholder for some years and even after Jobs passed away, his estate held that title for some time. The deal also gave Jobs a seat on the Disney board.

What would have inspired Jobs to consider a merger with Disney? Iger stated on CNBC that the late Apple co-founder appreciated the combination of great technology with great creativity. Apple would have been responsible for the former while Disney would have kicked in the latter.

It's hard to say what Apple and Disney might have done differently over the years. Perhaps Disney's development of OTA wireless charging would have received a big helping hand from Apple. There are several companies now working on something similar including Motorola.

It might be too late for Apple to merge with Disney. A merger would require both firms to pay what would be steep legal and regulatory fees and at this point, what could Disney bring to Apple that the latter couldn't do itself? And if you are a fan of both companies, you can always pick the Mickey or Minnie Mouse watch faces for the Apple Watch to show your support.

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