The Apple rumor mill reached a fevered pitch over the weekend when Apple Insider ran with a rumor Saturday that Apple was in advanced talks to acquire German HDTV maker Loewe. Within hours, Loews was out with a statement saying “there is absolutely nothing to” the report. The statement was issued on a Sunday, however, to the German-language website Heise, so the rebuttal didn’t get as widely circulated as the original report, so Loewe’s shares spiked in early trading Monday. Presumably, the stock will now give back all or most of those gains. But the whole episode raises another interesting question. Loewe’s shares had been depressed prior to the Apple rumor, in part on the continued “difficult environment” for HDTV makers. Over in Japan, in fact, the old-guard TV brands, from Panasonic to Sony, are collapsing in the face of Chinese and Korean competition and plunging prices. It’s certainly not out of the question that one or more of the old guard would be looking to unload its TV business to somebody looking to ramp up quickly in the TV business. Food for thought, anyway.
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