The big picture: Apple on average acquires a company every two to three weeks and has amassed approximately 20 to 25 businesses in the past six months alone. We don't hear about most of them, however, because they're largely talent hires or IP grabs.
In an interview with CNBC over the weekend, CEO Tim Cook said Apple is primarily looking for talent and intellectual property with its acquisitions. “We acquire everything that we need that can fit and has a strategic purpose to it,” Cook said.
Because many of the companies it buys are small, Apple doesn’t feel the need to announce each and every deal publicly. One of its biggest acquisitions in recent memory was of Beats which it paid $3 billion for in 2014.
The aggressive procurement style may remind some of Marissa Mayer’s spending spree after taking the helm of Yahoo years ago. Aside from the fact that Apple is in its prime and Yahoo was struggling to remain relevant, Apple has the money to make some moves. In its latest earnings report, the company said it had $225.4 billion in cash on hand, making it one of the most cash rich companies on the planet.
With all that money, some have called for Apple to spend a bit more freely and acquire a major company like Tesla or Netflix. The current strategy has worked so it's unlikely that we'll see any reckless spending just to appease critics.
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