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As Disney Starts To Show Its Warts, Apple Slowly Backs Away

Tech companies not buying Disney
Disney CEO Bob Iger and his Apple dreams. Credit: Disney

In Disney CEO Bob Iger’s dream scenario, the Walt Disney Company’s problems would be solved with a large influx of cash from Apple buying the company. It’s a dream that Iger has had for years. He even admitted in his book that Apple and Disney would have already merged if Steve Jobs had survived. But now, with all of Disney’s issues on public display, it has become virtually impossible for Apple to buy Disney, and unlike in a movie, Iger’s dreams will be dashed.

Disney CEO Bob Iger, Steve Jobs

Left: Disney CEO Bob Iger, Right: Former CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs / Credit: nagi usano, Flickr/ David Geller, Flickr.

Alex Sherman of CNBC wrote a lengthy reasoning as to why Apple won’t buy Disney anytime soon. For Disney, there are too many fundamental problems with the brand right now.

Disney is currently taking on water on multiple fronts. Their dispute with Spectrum highlights some fundamental issues with the over-the-air cable business, which even Iger admits is losing money. Disney does have a cash cow in ESPN, but it is nowhere near ready to be taken to a streaming-only platform.

As for its streaming business, Disney Plus is hemorrhaging money and customers. Disney is also fighting with rival Comcast over its third of Hulu. Disney will have to cough up billions to buy Hulu, and Comcast moved the timeline to September 30.

Bob Iger and Steve Jobs

Credit: CNBC

Disney also has slumping box office returns and park attendance at Walt Disney World in Central Florida. With all of the negatives, analysts still think that it’s inevitable that Apple will buy Disney, but then there’s Apple’s side of the argument.

Sherman points out that Apple doesn’t buy brand names. Outside of its purchase of Beats, Apple mostly buys companies you’ve never heard of. Apple is also not in the business of losing money, so purchasing a dwindling television business isn’t ideal for its brand.

Apple also has no background or interest in running theme parks. Sure, the Disney Imagineers could create the newest rides at Disney World or Disneyland, but for Apple to run the day-to-day operations would be a stretch.

Disney CEO Bob Iger

Disney CEO Bob Iger / Credit: glennia, Flickr

The only place the two companies align is content. Apple needs Disney’s films and television shows for its Apple Vision Pro headsets. But is that worth the $150 billion it will take to buy Disney? Probably not. Especially when it can offer Apple TV Plus and Disney Plus/Hulu/ESPN Plus as a paid add-on

The reality is Apple CEO Tim Cook is no dummy. He won’t buy Disney because it makes for a nice story. Sure, a Disney acquisition would make Apple the largest company in the world, but they’re already a tech giant. It doesn’t need to add animation, theme park, and streaming service giant to its resume.

Sadly for Disney CEO Bob Iger, his dream isn’t going to come true, and he will have to solve all of the Walt Disney Company’s problems himself. Good luck with that, Bob.

We will continue to update this story at Disney Fanatic.

About Rick

Rick is an avid Disney fan. He first went to Disney World in 1986 with his parents and has been hooked ever since. Rick is married to another Disney fan and is in the process of turning his two children into fans as well. When he is not creating new Disney adventures, he loves to watch the New York Yankees and hang out with his dog, Buster. In the fall, you will catch him cheering for his beloved NY Giants.

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