Musk talked to Apple, but said acquisition of Tesla 'unlikely'

Tesla's CEO kills rumors that Apple is looking to snap up the electric carmaker.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read
Tesla CEO Elon Musk. CBS

After speculation spread across the Web this week about Apple possibly courting Elon Musk to acquire Tesla, the electric car company CEO dispelled the myth on Wednesday.

In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Musk confirmed that he did meet with Apple and "had conversations" but that he "can't comment on whether those revolved around any kind of acquisition."

On Sunday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Musk met with Apple's chief of mergers and acquisitions and possibly CEO Tim Cook last spring. The newspaper floated the idea of a high-level merger between the two companies.

Bloomberg asked Musk on Wednesday whether Tesla was for sale and he responded that it's "unlikely" because the company is trying to stay focused on creating a "compelling mass market electric car." He said that if another company came to him with like-minded ideas, he might "entertain those discussions," but that he doesn't "currently see any scenario that would improve that probability."

After it was reported on Sunday that Musk met with Apple, some speculated that the meeting was about integrating Apple's iOS software technologies into Tesla's all-electric automobiles -- much like what the iPhone-maker has done with Audi, General Motors, Ford, Hyundai, and others.

Musk told Bloomberg that he could see some sort of Android or iOS app integration for Tesla cars, but that was secondary to the company's focus.

"That's somewhat peripheral to the fundamental goal of Tesla, which is to accelerate the electric car revolution, to make it happen," he said.

Tesla reported stellar fourth quarter earnings on Wednesday with revenue at $610.9 million, up from $294.4 million a year ago. And, the company is on track to deliver 35,000 Model S vehicles in 2014, which is up 55 percent from 2013.