Apple has hired at least 16 employees and purchased technology from bankrupt British startup Omnifone, TechCrunch reported on Monday.
The obvious use for the ex-Omnifone talent and technology would be to make Apple’s streaming music service, Apple Music, more reliable and better.
Omnifone was founded in 2003 and previously provided cloud tools to companies that wanted to do online music streaming, and even administered online music subscriptions for companies like Sony and BlackBerry.
The technology and expertise could help Apple as it tries to catch up in the streaming music business, which is currently dominated by Spotify.
Deal or no deal?
To be clear, Apple has not confirmed that it purchased Omnifone, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this summer.
It’s possible that Apple purchased technology and hired Omnifone’s staff without purchasing the company’s outstanding debts and client obligations. Apple did not respond to a request for comment.
A report from Omnifone’s bankruptcy administrators from earlier this summer had previously suggested that Omnifone had found a buyer for parts of the company for $10 million, TechCrunch reported.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company had completed four acquisitions in the quarter from July to September during Apple’s most recent earnings call.
Apple usually does not announce its acquisitions, but when news outlets learn about an acquisition Apple usually provides the following statement, which essentially confirms the deal: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
In July, an Apple spokesperson pointed out to Business Insider that in the matter of Omnifone the company had not given its standard statement for confirming acquisitions.