Rumors state that Apple is the latest bidder for high-speed racing championship Formula 1, as reported by F1 blogger Joe Saward.
Apple does not have a long list of high-profile acquisitions, aside from Beats, which it acquired for $3 billion in August 2014, as the company has mostly purchased smaller companies to integrate into its structure.
The acquisition of Formula 1 would certainly classify as a high-profile one, with Saward spilling rumors that a round of intensive due diligence has started, signaling that there is a new bidder to acquire the sport. That bidder, Saward said, is rumored to be Apple.
It's no secret that Formula 1 is up for sale, as its owner Bernie Ecclestone has been looking since 2015 for a buyer to snap up the financially struggling racing championship. There is even already a price tag for Formula 1, said to be at about $8.5 billion.
Saward noted that Apple currently has net cash of $161 billion, which will allow the company to comfortably purchase Formula 1. However, the question being asked is why a smartphone manufacturer would have any interest in acquiring a racing series?
One reason that Saward noted, could be that Apple is looking to serve Formula 1 as an exclusive content, as consumers are moving away from traditional media channels such as cable and satellite networks and into streaming services. If Apple owned Formula 1, it could package the racing championship exclusively for Apple TV owners, or sell Formula 1 content directly to consumers without needing to go through middlemen.
However, what would give the potential acquisition the most sense is Apple's Project Titan, which is the company's efforts in developing a consumer automotive product that is for now known as the Apple Car.
Saward said that while Apple has not yet officially unveiled the Apple Car, it is difficult to keep it a secret given the massive amounts of hiring that Apple has done for the project, including taking in charging station experts and former Tesla engineers. With the acquisition of Formula 1, Apple could own a platform through which it can promote the Apple Car, while also instantly forging relationships with premium automobile manufacturers such as Ferrari, McLaren and Williams.
Apple's rumored acquisition of Formula 1 does not make sense at first glance. However, given that it would be able to boost Apple TV sales and provide the company with a clearer connection with cars, such a purchase could be a very beneficial one for the company.