Cook explained to shareholders that the acquisitions were mostly geared towards obtaining technology and talent. In the past, Apple notably bought headphone company Beats Electronics – famously founded by rapper Dr.Dre – for US$3 billion (~RM12.1 billion) and music recognition software company Shazam for US$400 million (~RM1.6 billion).
A sign of its continuing interest in self-driving technologies, Apple bought Drive.ai, a self-driving shuttle company, in 2019. More recently, over the past year, Apple has acquired artificial intelligence (AI) companies, a virtual reality (VR) events business, a payments startup and a podcast business, the BBC said.
Still, despite its remarkable pace of acquisitions, Apple forks out considerably less money compared to its competitors. Microsoft bought LinkedIn for US$26 billion (~RM105 billion), Facebook bought WhatsApp for US$19 billion (~RM76.8 billion), and Amazon bought Whole Foods for US$13.7 billion (~RM55.3 billion).
The BBC noted that the company’s ten biggest acquisitions put together would still be worth much less than any of those deals. There could be a smart and deliberate rationale behind this – Gizmodo helpfully noted that Apple typically purchases smaller companies that fall way below the threshold where antitrust regulators would step in.
So while Apple is regularly accused of monopolising its iOS app ecosystem, its buying sprees attract far less attention.
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