Apple needs to go on a shopping spree

Apple is notoriously stingy with its bankroll only acquiring 10 companies in the past 13 years. It's high time that Apple open up the vault and make some acquisitions.

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I enjoyed reading Peter Burrows excellent piece for BusinessWeek ("Is Apple Ready for Merger Mania?") this morning and couldn't help but agree. It's well-known that Apple has $23 billion in the bank and it's high time that the company use its warchest to make some strategic acquisitions.

Apple's been rumored to acquire everyone from Adobe to Yahoo! over the years, but they never seem to pull the trigger on the big deal, opting instead for smaller, strategic acquisitions.

Most recently Apple has acquired PA Semi (chips) in October 2008, PlaceBase (maps) in October 2009 and Lala (music streaming) in December 2009.

I've previously written that Apple should acquire TiVo (serveral times), Netflix, Pandora,  Shazam, Midomi, Last.fm and even Hulu – but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. Audible was scooped up by Amazon in January 2008 so that's off the table too.

I still think that Apple should acquire Pandora, a streaming music service that I use every day but I fear that the dream may have died with Apple's acquisition of Lala last month.

What are your thoughts? What companies should Apple acquire in 2010?

Photo: AppleGazette

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