CEO Steve Jobs today disputed a press report fueling speculation that Apple may make a $6 billion bid for
Universal Music subsidiary.
He said comments attributed to Vivendi board member Claude Bebear were false.
The quotes were contained in a Bloomberg story, which quoted Bebear as saying that Apple "will probably make an offer for the music business, for about $6 billion," which Bebear called "a bit low." Bebear added that
are also interested in buying "some of Vivendi's U.S. entertainment unit."
reported last week that Apple had discussed an acquisition of Universal with Vivendi, though Apple declined to comment at the time. Apple shares dropped 8% on the news, a move that had analysts
scratching their heads.
Jobs said in a statement today, "Apple has never made any offer to invest in or acquire a major music company. The press statements this morning attributed to Vivendi board member Claude Bebear are untrue, as Mr. Bebear has confirmed in a later report.
"Beyond these comments, we will abide by Apple's policy of not commenting on rumors," said Jobs.
Apple shares were off 19 cents, or 1.4%, to $13.20 shortly before the close.