Time Warner is under pressure to sell or spin off assets and, according to a new report, Apple is keeping a watchful eye on the happenings. Unnamed sources believe Apple is interesting in Time Warner properties, which include HBO, to help jump-start the company's long-in-developer "skinny" TV service.
From the New York Post:
"With Time Warner shares closing at $71.06 on Tuesday — well below the $85 offer from 21st Century Fox that its board rejected 18 months ago — the New York company is seen as a sitting duck among media companies because it, unlike its peers, doesn't have a dual-class shareholder structure. In addition to Apple, AT&T, which now owns DirecTV, is also seen as a possible Time Warner suitor, as is Fox, which Bloomberg noted would still make a good partner for the Jeff Bewkes-led company."
Picking up some of Time Warner's assets could put Apple in a more competitive position to offer a streaming service to consumers, which would sit comfortably alongside the recent launch of Apple Music.
In addition to shows like Game of Thrones, Time Warner owns DC Comics and its associated characters, produced the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings franchises, and more.
"Eddy Cue, one of Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook's top lieutenants, in charge of content deals, has been keeping tabs on proceedings at Time Warner, a source close to Apple said. [...] Bewkes met investors in a series of closed-door meetings on Monday and Tuesday, telling them, according to sources familiar with the talks, that he's against a sale or a spinoff of HBO — although he hinted a sale of his media giant could be entertained."
Consumer electronics giant Sony has famously run an entertainment division for years. Apple, on the other hand, has enjoyed successful relationships with companies like Disney, where Steve Jobs' wife, Laurene, remains the single largest shareholder.
Although Apple acquired Beats and relaunched it as Apple Music last year, how the traditionally tightly-focused company would handle running a Hollywood studio is also an open question.
What do you think, should Apple start bringing movies and TV shows in-house?