Apple (AAPL) has spent the past few years minting money via iPod sales, and is now doing the same with the iPhone. That’s allowed the company to accumulate a $15 billion cash hoard — more than IBM, HPQ, INTC or GOOG, Fortune points out.
The magazine wonders what Steve Jobs intends to do with all that dough, and soberly discusses possible uses: Dividends, stock buybacks, a new corporate campus. Fine, but boring. (Even more boring: BusinessWeek’s Arik Hesseldahl soberly explains that Apple won’t do anything with the money, because it needs the cash as a hedge against supply chain problems). What if Steve wanted to make a big splash, and go on an M&A bender?
Fortune points that Apple could easily swallow Netflix (NFLX), Tivo and Circuity City (CC) and have plenty of cash left. But let’s think bigger: $15 billion can go along way. For instance, Steve could purchase Warner Music Group (WMG) and the other three big music labels, or at least a controlling stake in all of them. Or if he wanted to give his online video store a boost, he could go Hollywood: Buying Lions Gate Films (LGF) plus MGM would still leave him about half his cash pile. What else should be on his shopping list? Let us know in comments below.
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