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Tim Cook contrasts Apple M&A with Big Tech



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

Brooks Kraft / Apple Inc / Manual via Reuters

Apple buys a lot of smaller companies and does not talk about what it plans to do with them.

However, on Thursday, Apple CEO Tim Cook shed light on the company̵

7;s acquisition strategy in an interview with CNBC, while drawing a contrast with other major tech companies that testified before the Antitrust House Subcommittee on Wednesday.

“If you look at the things behind the investigation, things are purchases, and if you noticed, we did not get any questions about purchases because our approach to purchases has been to buy companies where we have challenges, and IP, and then make them a feature. phone, ”Cook said in an interview.

Cook is arguing that Apple does not buy competitors – it buys companies that have products or other technology that Apple can turn into features.

Although Cook did not stop naming his Big Tech rivals, emails released by the subcommittee on Thursday show that Facebook executives discussed buying Instagram domestically in the context of pulling out a competitor. The emails also showed that Amazon employees underestimate the Diapers.com price to gain market share from it. Amazon bought Quidsi, its parent company, in 2010.

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

There are other examples: In 2017, Apple bought Workflow, an automation app, which is now the Shortcuts app integrated into the iPhone. In 2018, she bought Texture, a digital magazine subscription service, which is now the basis of Apple News +. Animoji avatar users can fall in texts came out of the purchase of FaceShift for 2015. Siri was the product of a purchase. Apple’s industry-leading mobile chips are a direct result of the 2008 acquisition of PA Semi.

Other deals were for companies that are closer to competing with Apple. In 2017, Apple bought Beddit, a hardware tracker from Finland. Apple still sells Beddits, and has even updated the hardware, but they had many features removed in 2019, and Apple will add sleep tracking as a feature to its latest Apple Watch app this fall.

Apple buys many smaller companies and does not always announce purchases. So far, in 2020, five acquisitions from Apple have been publicly disclosed, none of which have an official price attached to the transaction. Most Apple acquisitions are small enough that the company does not need to report them to the SEC

Cook said last year that Apple buys a company every few weeks. Apple’s biggest deal was for the Beats in 2014 for $ 3 billion. Apple still sells Beats headphones and turned its music service into Apple Music.


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