Apple had ‘serious’ talks about an acquisition or exclusive distribution deal with Imagine Entertainment, the Hollywood producer co-owned by Ron Howard and responsible for films including Apollo 13 and TV shows like Empire.

That’s according to the Financial Times, which reported yesterday that the talks involved Apple CEO Tim Cook and content boss Eddy Cue, but ultimately “fizzled out”.

The piece notes that despite a series of rumours about Apple’s plans – including an acquisition of studio Time Warner – the company has not closed any of these deals.

“This approach has many in Hollywood scratching their heads. Apple’s rounds of meetings with various entertainment industry players suggest it has not yet decided what its strategy should be,” reported the FT.

“It has the firepower to do something meaningful in content production and distribution — a space that is increasingly dominated by Netflix and Amazon… Apple could get up to speed by buying a company. Or it could follow Amazon’s model: hire the right talent and give them the backing to get the ball rolling.”

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