Apple’s Eddy Cue Proposed to Buy Time Warner Last Year

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Eddy Cue, Apple’s head of iTunes Store, Apple Music, and iCloud proposed buying Time Warner last year, according to people familiar with the matter, the Financial Times is reporting.

The prospect was raised during a meeting with Olaf Olafsson, Time Warner’s head of corporate strategy, with the topic a potential partnership between the two companies, such as the inclusion of Time Warner’s cable channels in the rumoured TV-streaming service, the sources say.

However, the proposal didn’t go beyond that stage and never included the CEOs of the two companies, Tim Cook and Jeff Bewkes. Time Warner would have been a great fit, though, because it has “highly sought-after assets”: HBO, which produces Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley and Veep; Warner Bros, and Turner.

It is not clear Apple will revive its interest in Time Warner but bankers say the tech company has recently been considering a range of potential media targets. “They’ve been on the lookout for content assets for several months,” said one that has worked with Apple.
Several bankers said Apple was more likely to go after a streaming company such as Netflix than a pure content player, as it would make it easier for Apple’s services to continue to offer a wide range of content makers.

What makes this report particularly interesting is Eddy Cue’s proposal: It signals that Apple is actively investigating the possibilities it has to offer with its own content. You may recall that the company was rumoured to be launching a video streaming service that would offer a “skinny” bundle of channels for roughly $30 or $40 per month.

The Financial Times report adds to those rumours that Apple intends to increase spending on original content to “several hundred million dollars a year”.