Friday, January 17, 2014

Apple and the options option

Think triage. Take a collection of companies that Apple might be interested in buying and they will fall into one of three groups: 1) yes, buy it now, 2) not currently a good fit, or 3) a good business partner, but Apple would only need to buy it to keep it from falling into the hands of a competitor.

An option, for that third category, would be for Apple to acquire an option to buy each company they consider vital to their own business, so that, if a competitor were to make a (verifiably legitimate) offer to buy one of these, Apple would have the option of interdicting that purchase by matching the competitor's offer themselves, or if they elected not to do so they should at least be provided with evidence that the terms which had been presented to them were the actual terms of the competitor's purchase, and not a trumped-up figure. Moreover, if Apple decided not to accept the terms of the buyout, and the competitor backed out of the deal, the company under consideration of acquisition should refund the cost of Apple's option, unless Apple were to respond with a counter offer which they accepted.

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