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Home ยป Did Apple Tim Cook and Tesla Elon Musk Actually Hold Secret Acquisition Talks?

Did Apple Tim Cook and Tesla Elon Musk Actually Hold Secret Acquisition Talks?

Elon Musk

New reporting from the NYT claims Apple held discussions with Elon Musk about potentially acquiring Tesla at some point. However, details are scarce and timelines unclear around these alleged talks.

In 2020, Elon Musk stated he had reached out to Apple CEO Tim Cook during troubled Model 3 production in 2017 about Apple purchasing Tesla. Musk says Cook refused to even meet.

But other reports suggest it was Cook who pitched Musk on Apple acquiring Tesla, on the condition that Musk took over as Apple CEO. Both sides have generally denied formal discussions occurred in recent years.

The new Times report muddies the waters further by vaguely referencing acquisition “discussions” between Apple and Tesla. It provides no specifics on when these talks might have taken place or how advanced they became.

Ultimately it seems the two companies never reached common ground. Though Apple reportedly took interest in Tesla’s technology and manufacturing, it decided building a car itself made more strategic sense than integrating an outside business.

Acquiring Tesla would have been a massive undertaking, probably Apple’s largest ever at well over $100 billion. It could have jumpstarted Apple’s auto ambitions, but major culture clashes may have been inevitable.

For now, exactly what conversations occurred and when remain unclear. Both Apple and Tesla have moved on to focus on their own plans. But the lingering rumors of merger discussions suggest the idea was at least explored behind closed doors, even if it never gained full momentum toward a deal.

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