Q:

Does Microsoft own Apple?

A:

Quick Answer

Microsoft does not own Apple. Apple is an corporation with an independent stock listing on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. In 1997, however, Microsoft purchased roughly $150 million dollars worth of non-voting Apple preferred stock.

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Full Answer

In 2001, Microsoft exercised an option to convert the preferred shares into about 18.1 million shares of common stock. These common shares were sold by Microsoft over a two-year period until, by 2003, Microsoft had divested itself of any ownership in Apple. During the 1997 to 2003 investment period, Microsoft and Apple agreed to a broad patent cross-licensing arrangement. Microsoft supported its Microsoft Office software suite for the Mac for five years while Apple made Internet Explorer the default Web browser for its systems.

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