Imagine Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff reporting to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Or Tesla CEO Elon Musk becoming just one of the many Apple executives.
What would have happened if Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was now working under Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer?
It may be hard to imagine, but some of these scenarios almost came true — or were at least rumoured to be in the works — at one point or another.
We put together some of the biggest acquisition rumours that could have changed tech history if they went through.
Microsoft's former CEO Steve Ballmer wanted to buy Yahoo for $45 billion in 2008. But Yahoo's then-CEO Jerry Yang and its board insisted the offer 'substantially undervalued' Yahoo.
Yahoo wanted a better offer, but Microsoft didn't bite, and eventually walked away from the deal. If they had agreed to a deal, the two companies would have formed a tech juggernaut rivaling Google. Now, Yahoo is worth roughly $36 billion.
In 2006, Yahoo tried to buy Facebook for $1 billion. Facebook was still a growing a startup and Mark Zuckerberg almost agreed to the deal.
But then-Yahoo CEO Terry Semel retracted his $1 billion offer at the last minute, giving an $850 million offer instead. Zuckerberg rejected it, and he turned out to be right: Facebook is now worth over $250 billion.
According to recent reports, Microsoft offered to buy Salesforce for $50 billion earlier this year. Other companies like Oracle, SAP, and Google were rumoured to be in the mix as well.
But Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff reportedly wanted $70 billion instead, and all talks have stalled since then. Salesforce still remains an independent company, with a market cap over $45 billion, and is expected to surpass $6 billion in revenue this year.
Apple's Steve Jobs once tried to buy Dropbox, but its CEO Drew Houston told him he had no plans of selling. Then, Jobs told Houston that Dropbox was not a company, but a mere 'feature.'
Dropbox went on to become one of the most popular file storage companies, valued at $10 billion. Apple's iCloud, a Dropbox-like cloud storage product, has had some serious security issues recently.
In 2012, Facebook tried to buy Snapchat for $3 billion. Mark Zuckerberg reportedly told Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel that he's about to release a Snapchat-clone called Poke, which eventually turned out to be a flop.
When asked why he didn't sell, Spiegel told Forbes, 'There are very few people in the world who get to build a business like this. I think trading that for some short-term gain isn't very interesting.' Snapchat is now reported to be worth over $16 billion.
In 2014, there were reports of Tesla CEO Elon Musk meeting with Apple's M&A chief Adrian Perica. Musk later told CNBC that he did meet with Apple, although he refused to confirm who he met.
Musk also said it's 'very unlikely' that he would ever sell Tesla, squashing any hopes for an Apple-Tesla deal. But those rumours surfaced again earlier this year following reports of Apple possibly working on its own electric car.
In 2010, the NY Times reported that Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen met with then-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to discuss a partnership and a possible acquisition of Adobe by Microsoft.
The next day, Ballmer declined to comment on the report, instead saying, 'If you are going to do something, you say nothing.' The deal never materialised, but the Adobe acquisition could have turned Microsoft into a cloud software powerhouse.
In January, Reuters reported that Samsung offered to buy Blackberry for as much as $7.5 billion. Both companies denied the report.
Samsung reportedly 'wanted to send a message to Apple, Microsoft, and Apple' by acquiring Blackberry. Blackberry's smartphone business may be struggling, but it still owns a number of patents that could help Samsung's mobile business, especially in the enterprise.
In 2012, unconfirmed rumours of Microsoft acquiring Netflix sent the video-streaming sites shares up 13%. CNET later reported that it saw an email from a Wall St. banking firm indicating Microsoft may have possibly offered $90 per share for Netflix.
Both companies declined to comment on the rumour, but Netflix made the right decision not to sell back then: Netflix shares are trading at an all-time high, as it continues to show user growth around the world.
There were some rumours earlier this year that Google might make a play for the ride-sharing app Uber. The fact that Google's a major investor in Uber, with about $258 million invested already, added to the speculation.
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