Disney WILL NOT SELL to Apple, and the Writing is On the Wall

mickey and apple logo with false across it
Credit: Disney/Apple/Canva

Try as they might, Disney fans and news junkies can’t escape the never-ending stream of posts, podcasts, and news reports about the impending dumping of The Disney Company’s assets in a massive, multi-billion sell-off to Apple. But when the talking heads finally take a breath and viewers have a moment to consider the facts, it becomes crystal-clear: despite all that chatter, there are three simple reasons a Disney-Apple merger is simply not in the cards.

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Credit: MarketWatch

Whether viewers get their news from a local newspaper, online, or via cable news channels like CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, etc., the majority of them have heard the endless reports about The Walt Disney Company’s perceived innate desire to sell all of its assets to Cupertino-based tech giant Apple Inc.

News organizations and Wall Street analysts began heavily speculating about the potential for a Disney-Apple mash-up just days after veteran Disney CEO Bob Iger was reinstated as chief in November 2022 following the dismissal by Disney’s board of then-CEO Bob Chapek. Nearly immediately, however, Apple responded to the speculation, saying the company’s official stance was “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Bob Iger Bob Chapek

Credit: DisneyDining/Canva/Disney

Speculation seemed to die out for a while, but as the calendar flipped to 2023, murmurs were heard again, and by March, the crystal ball of at least one analyst predicted Apple’s acquisition of Disney with a price tag of $109 billion, leaving fellow analysts and stock market-savvy Americans belly-laughing, as The Walt Disney Company’s market cap during that same week was well over $170 billion. Such an offer was laughable, if not preposterous.

News Outlets Keep Pushing an Apple Takeover of Disney. But Why?

Though Disney has shown no signs of plans to concede to Apple, and the tech super-giant has publicly stated that it has no interest in such an acquisition, analysts and “insiders” continue to push the idea, but why?

On the surface, an Apple takeover of Disney seems not only viable but, in the long run, potentially extremely profitable. And the Apple company ticks all the proverbial boxes for such a deal. First, Apple has the purchasing power for a Disney buyout; most companies cannot come close to such power. As of the date of this post, Apple’s market cap sits comfortably at $2.73 trillion (yes, with a “t”). To compare, Disney’s market cap is hanging on at $152.6 billion as Mouse House stock continues its journey to the depths of analysts’ charts.

Then there’s what this writer calls the Steve Jobs Theory, which goes a little something like this: Because the late genius Steve Jobs once owned PIXAR–and because he was personal friends with Disney CEO Bob Iger–an Apple acquisition must be inevitable. Sorry, speculators, but friendships among CEOs and owners of mega-corporations don’t count as prerequisites for such an undertaking. Keep trying, though.

RELATED: Steve Jobs’s Death in 2011 Halted a Disney-Apple Merger

steve jobs and bob iger

Credit: LinkedIn

An Apple Takeover: Not Gonna Happen for Three Reasons

Though Wall Street continues to speculate about–and nearly push for–a monumental acquisition of The Walt Disney Company by Apple, the deal is just not in the cards, and there are three reasons for that.

First, by the company’s own admission, Apple, Inc. has zero interest in a Disney takeover, and therefore, no one at Apple is carrying around a giant check with Disney’s name next to “Pay to the Order of.” That alone should be reason enough for analysts to bark up a different tree–for a change of pace if nothing else.

mickey and apple logo with false across it

Credit: Disney/Apple/Canva

Additionally, it’s a good thing that the California tech giant has no plans for an Apple-scented House of Mouse. That’s because all the signs point to a Disney takeover at the hands of a massive $1 trillion group that appears to have already taken Disney for a test drive. As part of his plans to right the financial ship at Disney, CEO Bob Iger recently brought former Disney execs Kevin Mayer and Tom Skaggs to help him decide the fate of ESPN, which, to the point, has been one of the most painful thorns in Iger’s side.

The Disney-owned sports network is part of the lopsided ship at Disney, and Iger’s decisions about ESPN will have a massive impact on the company’s bottom line. On the surface, all looks very normal and uneventful. But dig a little deeper, and dots begin to connect, leaving a trail of clues that seem to suggest that Iger’s decision to bring the two former execs back as consultants has less to do with just ESPN and far more to do with a potential buyout of The Walt Disney Company by a $1 trillion entity whose largest shareholder is also Disney’s largest shareholder.

If these reasons aren’t enough to squash rumors about an Apple-flavored Disney house, perhaps recent legislative changes will do the trick. Over the last year, the Biden Administration has passed stricter anti-trust legislative statutes. The newly effective statutes make it far more expensive and far more difficult for large companies to merge.

president joe biden with cinderella castle and money swirling around

Credit: ABC News/Disney/Canva

Under the Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act of 2022 (the MFFMA), filing fees for such deals are based upon the amount of the transaction. Most experts believe that at this time, Disney would cost $225 billion, and at that amount, the filing fee for the merger would be $2.25 million, and the federal government will take that up-front, thank you very much. Even then, there are no guarantees that the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission will permit such a merging of the mega-brands.

Though anti-trust legislation has been in place in the United States for more than 130 years, changes to the law in the last year have made it increasingly difficult for mega-corporations to marry up, and the merger of Apple and Disney could have many of the makings for a mega-monopoly in the eyes of the federal government.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!