In an effort to boost its social media standing, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is reportedly in talks to acquire Path, a social networking app. This report comes from an unnamed source as reported to Pando Daily.
Apple’s next possible acquisition
The source also reports that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) wants to keep the app intact after the acquisition, which seems unusual, although the company did do the same for the recent Beats acquisition. The company sometimes obtains another company just to take some of that top talent for its own benefit. According to Pando, Dave Morin (cofounder of Path) was sitting in the front row during yesterday’s keynote for the iPhone 6. Apple always saves those spots for special guests and top executives. Apple designer Jony Ive and new executive Marc Newson also sat in the front row.
Pricing details were not mentioned, however, and Path’s most recent round of funding accrued a number at a sub-$400 million valuation. Apple usually seeks companies with at least a $500 million valuation. What’s more, Path is not a high-ranking title within the App Store. In fact, it currently sits below the top 1,000 most-downloaded apps.
The problem with Path
Perhaps what makes this report even stranger is that Path drew scrutiny from Apple and U.S. regulators due to a few missteps. Two years ago, the social app got into trouble for uploading user address books without permission. It was reported that the automated action helped users find their friends on the app. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission subsequently investigated the issue, but it was settled last year for $800,000.
This deal with Apple is reportedly almost done, if not signed already. A struggling social platform may sound like an odd thing for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to take interest in, but given the company’s history with Ping, something may be better than nothing.