Disney CEO Bob Iger believes that if Steve Jobs were still alive, Apple and Disney could have merged. These remarks have come to light after Iger's recent resignation from Apple's board of directors, a move made after Apple confirmed the launch of its streaming service, Apple TV+.
Apple TV+ will launch on Nov. 1 in the U.S. This will put it in direct competition with the launch of Disney+, which happens in the U.S. on Nov. 12. Both services are promising original content, but most would argue that Disney's vast back catalog, as well as it having rights to both Star Wars and Marvel, will put it ahead in the streaming wars. However, Disney and Apple were not always competing against each other. At one point, it seemed likely that the two companies might merge, with rumors consistently surfacing that Apple might eventually buy Disney.
In an article by Vanity Fair adapted from Iger's upcoming autobiography, he reveals that he believes Disney and Apple would have merged if Steve Jobs had lived. The two men became friends after Disney acquired Pixar in 2006 (at the time, Jobs was the majority shareholder of that company). As a result of that acquisition, Jobs joined Disney's board of directors, with Iger later joining Apple's board in 2011. Iger wrote:
With every success the company has had since Steve’s death, there’s always a moment in the midst of my excitement when I think, I wish Steve could be here for this. It’s impossible not to have the conversation with him in my head that I wish I could be having in real life. More than that, I believe that if Steve were still alive, we would have combined our companies, or at least discussed the possibility very seriously.
Iger also mentioned that he and Jobs often spoke about the future of television before the launch of the first iPhone. The two discussed a service that would act as a sort of Apple iTunes for TV. Much has changed since Jobs' death, though. Even if Disney and Apple weren't directly competing in the streaming service market, such a merger would probably never happen in today's world. With Apple valued at around $1 trillion and Disney at $300 billion, a merger would create an environment of anti-competition, which is something that governments around the world have started to frown upon.
Some might still wonder what a Disney and Apple merger would look like. However, most fans of Disney and Apple probably would never want it to happen. Some consumers feel that Disney's recent acquisition of Fox has already made the company too big, with many worried about the amount of power it currently wields in the entertainment industry. If Apple can compete with Disney on the streaming service front, that's potentially a good thing, even if fans of streaming services are starting to feel too many have already entered the playing field.
Source: Vanity Fair