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July 5, 1993

AT&T – APPLE TALKS BREAK DOWN

By CBR Staff Writer

Those talks between AT&T Co and Apple Computer Inc have ended for now, without resolution, Macweek reports: sources close to both companies characterised reports of possible joint ventures or even an AT&T takeover of Apple as much ado about little but acknowledged that the two companies have talked about several issues, including a possible merger and pooling of resources for development of personal digital assistants – and that talks stretch back over six years, which suggests that John Sculley has been hunting for a merger partner for Apple for a very long time; talks on one topic – a marketing partnership around AT&T’s EasyLink network – are to resume after Apple completes its impending reorganisation; discussion of a strategic investment or takeover by AT&T goes back as far as 1987, according to sources and Sculley reportedly raised the question again this year with AT&T’s executive staff; one source close to AT&T said the company was not panting for this deal but, as in the past, it had listened to what Sculley had to say, but decided late last month, not to pursue the merger idea – all which makes one wonder to which other industrial giants Apple has been or may be shopped – Ken Olsen put the kibosh on any deal with Digital Equipment Corp, but General Electric Co Inc remains an outside possibility; Motorola Inc itself would be an interesting merger partner, but does not have the cash that Apple wants to spare, although the combination could bear a big debt load.

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