Elon Musk denies he discussed Apple-Tesla merger with Tim Cook
Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said on Friday that he never met with Apple Inc. about a potential takeover and slammed the tech giant’s App Store fees, calling them a “global tax on the internet."
He was responding to an upcoming book that says Apple CEO Tim Cook called Musk in 2016 about taking over Tesla.
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The book claims that merger discussions ended when Musk told Cook he’d like to replace him as Apple’s CEO as part of the deal. According to the story -- revealed in a Los Angeles Times review of “Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century" by Wall Street Journal reporter Tim Higgins -- Cook then hung up the phone after uttering an expletive.
“Cook & I have never spoken or written to each other ever," Musk said on Twitter. “There was a point where I requested to meet with Cook to talk about Apple buying Tesla. There were no conditions of acquisition proposed whatsoever."
Cook refused the meeting, Musk said. “Tesla was worth about 6% of today’s value," he said. The statement reiterated remarks from last year, when Musk said Cook refused to take a meeting about acquiring Tesla.
Apple also denied the book’s anecdote and pointed to comments from Cook on a recent New York Times podcast. “You know, I’ve never spoken to Elon, although I have great admiration and respect for the company he’s built," Cook said.
Musk followed up with a separate tweet Friday on Apple’s store fees. “Epic is right," he said, a reference to Epic Games Inc.’s lawsuit with Apple over its commissions.
Epic sued Apple after the Cupertino, California-based company removed the game Fortnite from its store for circumventing in-app-purchase fees. Epic has attacked Apple’s practice of forcing apps to share 15% to 30% of their revenue. A California judge will rule on the suit as early as August.