Over the past decade, Apple has accumulated an enormous bankroll of over $51 billion, spending only a tiny fraction of it on acquisitions. If the current (wild and wacky) speculation around purchasing Sony holds up, that would change.
At one point on Tuesday, Sony's stock was up almost 3 percent as the rumor spread among the traders on the Tokyo exchange. Sony's market capitalization is currently less than $34 billion, making a cash buyout a possibility.
While Apple has mostly gone from strength to strength over the past 10 years, expanding into new markets like music players and phones, Sony has struggled to gain market traction with its newer products.
However, despite having the money in the bank to do such a deal, buying Sony is likely to be a mistake for Apple. Huge mergers like this rarely work out well, and the differences in the corporate cultures between the two companies could cause some serious indigestion. The Japanese government is also likely to offer some serious resistance to having one of its corporate jewels swallowed up.
Rather than buying Sony whole, it might make more sense for Apple to just buy part of the company, such as its film/music library or the TV business. On the other hand, Apple might just want to look elsewhere to get something that it doesn't compete with, like Disney or Facebook.
[hat tip to MacRumors]