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CNET Top 5
Companies Apple could buy with their billionsApple's sitting on a massive pile of cash. Here are five interesting ways they could spend it.
Apple is saving up for something big. With a cash stockpile of roughly 158 billion dollars, a lot of people are wondering what Apple will do with all that money. Maybe they�ll use it to coast along comfortably as they fall into obscurity [microsoft]. But more likely, I�ll bet the folks in Cupertino are saving up for their next big play. I�m Donald bell, and in today�s Top 5 I�m counting down the five most disruptive, yet plausible companies Apple could buy with their billions. 5. Netflix Starting off at #5: Netflix. Valued at around 26 billion dollars, Apple could swoop up Netflix and still have plenty of money in the bank. Netflix would be a great compliment to the iTunes empire, and could really help them dial in and control the experience of their rumored Apple HDTV. Plus, it would scare the pants off of Amazon. 4. Starbucks Not weird enough for you? How about #4: Starbucks. For around 57 billion, Apple could own every street corner in America and control access to one of our favorite legal drugs. To lock it down Apple style, they could restrict bathroom access just to customers with an iPhone. Send those Android users across the street to pee at Taco Bell, like animals. Back on more plausible ground at #3: Tesla. Heck, throw in Ford too. With a combined value under 100 billion, Apple could take the bad-boy of automakers and the mom jeans of automakers and create something as disruptive to cars as the iPhone was to smartphones. Tablets and laptops may come and go, but the car is not disappearing from modern life any time soon. Throw in that Starbucks purchase, and you�ve got a network of recharging stations ready to go. 2. Deutsche Telekom At #2: Buy a carrier. Big guns like AT&T and Verizon are just out of budget, so I propose Deutsch Telecom, aka T-mobile. An underdog with something to prove, available for around 71 billion. They're already giving AT&T and Verizon heartburn with their Uncarrier tactics. Having Apple at the helm would really scare them. Granted, you'd have to make the iPhone exclusive T-Mobile, but I'm sure the Apple faithful would switch. All the other carriers would have left are Samsung phones and high prices. 1. Comcast Alright, and now, my #1 pick for the company Apple should acquire with their pile of cash: Comcast. Tim Cook, if you want to make people stand up and cheer your name, please apply that Apple magic and simplicity to Americas most infuriating legal monopoly. Not only will you essentially own the keys to America�s Internet for around $132 billion, but you�ll get Time Warner and NBC to boot. You'll be a God. You can basically print money. And there�s no way you could possibly make that godforsaken, anti-consumer behemoth any worse. So there you go, five companies Apple could easily snatch up with their billions. If you object or have other companies to nominate, tweet me @donald or head over to Top5.CNET.com. I�m Donald Bell, thanks for watching.