Bob Iger Once Thought Apple And Disney Merger Would Have Happened If His Friend Steve Jobs Lived: 'I Think We Would Have Gotten There'

Zinger Key Points
  • Bob Iger wanted to merge Disney with Apple and he thought Steve Jobs would have done it if he were alive.
  • That said, Iger revealed he never brought up the idea to Jobs.

The Walt Disney Co. DIS CEO Bob Iger once wanted to merge the Mouse House with Apple Inc. AAPL, but the idea fell by the wayside due to Steve Jobs's death.

What Happened: In his 2019 book, Iger expressed his conviction that a merger between Apple and Disney would have been inevitable had Jobs not passed away in 2011.

Iger and Jobs have a history – they did not start on the right note.

"When Iron Man 2 came out, Steve took his son to see it and called me the next day," Iger wrote in his book.

"‘I took Reed to see Iron Man 2 last night,' he said. ‘It sucked.'"

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But things turned around for the two later – Jobs revealed his cancer diagnosis to Iger, who kept it a secret.

Jobs got Iger's Disney to acquire Pixar from him for $7.4 billion in 2006 for $7.4 billion – this made Jobs the largest shareholder of Disney at the time.

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Iger eventually wanted to merge Disney with Apple, and he thought it would have happened if Jobs were alive.

"I'm pretty convinced we would have had that discussion. I think we would have gotten there," Iger told CNBC, adding that Jobs recognized the potential of combining "great technology" with "great creativity."

This isn’t the first time Iger has suggested this possibility. In his memoir, he also floated the idea of a Disney and Apple merger. However, Iger clarified that he never discussed this idea with Jobs.

Despite the launch of Disney+ and Apple TV+, Iger left Apple’s board of directors in 2019. The competitive aspect of the two streaming services is believed to have influenced this decision.

Why It Matters: The relationship between Disney and Apple has been a subject of interest in recent years. In 2019, Iger stepped down from Apple’s board as Apple prepared to launch its streaming service, Apple TV+.

This move was seen as a sign of the increasing competition between the two companies.

More recently, Disney has been the focus of a proxy battle with activist investor Nelson Peltz.

Despite the battle, Disney’s CEO Bob Iger stated that Peltz did not bring any new ideas to the company. This indicates that Disney’s leadership is confident in its current strategy and may not be looking for major changes, such as a potential merger with Apple.

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Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of Benzinga Neuro and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

Photos courtesy: Shutterstock and Wikimedia

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