Apple in Early-Stage Negotiations to Acquire Spotify? [Updated]

165831 spotify logo

TechCrunch reports that Apple and Swedish music streaming service Spotify have been engaging in very early-stage discussions about a possible acquisition by Apple. Discussions have apparently yet to progress beyond the feeling-out stage, however, with no firm offers on the table at this time.

"Apple, Inc. (AAPL) in negotiations to acquire Spotify," read the tip that came in yesterday via email from an anonymous source. Most tips are just outright false, but we dug into this one a little bit.

Here's what we heard - Apple and Spotify are in on again, off again discussions about an acquisition, but at best it's very early in the process. No firm price has been offered, no term sheet tabled. Still, it's interesting that the two are talking.

As recently as earlier this month, Apple had been rumored to be trying to torpedo Spotify's much-delayed U.S. launch by working to convince record labels that Spotify's business model would be a losing proposition for all involved in the digital music industry. The report was quickly followed by renewed claims of Apple developing its own music subscription service.

Today's report also interestingly notes that Spotify and Google nearly agreed on a $1 billion acquisition deal, but that agreement fell apart over Spotify's demands for an $800 million "walk away fee" that would be paid by Google if the deal fell through after signing and Google's demands that all of Spotify's existing deals with record labels be carried over to the Google-owned Spotify, a provision that was not present in Spotify's deals with the labels.

Spotify would not be the first company to be an acquisition target for both Apple and Google. Apple had reportedly considered purchasing mobile advertising firm AdMob late last year before Google swept in with its own offer. Apple quickly responded by snatching music streaming firm Lala Media away from Google before picking up Quattro Wireless as its second-choice ad firm that it converted to support the company's new iAd platform.

Apple's growing war chest of over $50 billion has been the source of increasing speculation regarding potential acquisitions, with Apple CEO Steve Jobs noting during the company's earnings conference call last week that Apple believes one or more strategic opportunities will present themselves, and the company will be well-positioned financially to take advantage of those opportunities.

Update: According to CNET, Spotify has denied that any such discussions with Apple have taken place.

Spotify's spokesman Jim Butcher said acquisitions discussions with Apple have never taken place.

"We wouldn't normally comment on this kind of speculation, but we wanted to make it clear that we have absolutely no intention of selling Spotify," he said.

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
iPhone 13 Face ID

'High-End' iPhone 14 Front-Facing Camera to Cost Apple Three Times More

Monday May 23, 2022 7:05 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 will feature a more expensive "high-end" front-facing camera with autofocus, partly made in South Korea for the first time, ET News reports. Apple reportedly ousted a Chinese candidate to choose LG Innotek, a South Korean company, to supply the iPhone 14's front-facing camera alongside Japan's Sharp. The company is said to have originally planned to switch to LG for the iPhone...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
apple music

Apple Increases Apple Music Subscription Price for Students in Several Countries

Sunday May 22, 2022 1:57 am PDT by
Apple has silently increased the price of its Apple Music subscription for college students in several countries, with the company emailing students informing them their subscription would be slightly increasing in price moving forward. The price change is not widespread and, based on MacRumors' findings, will impact Apple Music student subscribers in but not limited to Australia, the...
EA Apple Maybe Feature

Apple Reportedly Talked With Electronic Arts About Potential Acquisition

Monday May 23, 2022 10:58 am PDT by
Apple is one of several companies that have held talks with Electronic Arts (EA) about a potential purchase, according to a new report from Puck. EA has spoken to several "potential suitors," including Apple, Amazon, and Disney as it looks for a merger arrangement. Apple and the other companies declined to comment, and the status of the talks is not known at this time, but Apple does have an ...
sony headphones 1

Sony's New WH-1000XM5 Headphones vs. Apple's AirPods Max

Friday May 20, 2022 12:18 pm PDT by
Sony this week came out with an updated version of its popular over-ear noise canceling headphones, so we picked up a pair to compare them to the AirPods Max to see which headphones are better and whether it's worth buying the $400 WH-1000XM5 from Sony over Apple's $549 AirPods Max. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. First of all, the AirPods Max win out when it comes ...