Earlier this month a report said online music provider Omnifone was being purchased by an unnamed U.S. company for US$10 million. Now a new report is out saying that company was Apple, but it’s very likely that’s not really the case.
According to Music Ally, U.K.-based Omnifone put itself up for sale earlier this year and the winning bidder was an unnamed U.S. company. MacRumors reported yesterday its sources said that company was Apple. Now The Loop’s sources are saying Apple didn’t buy Omnifone.
Omnifone has its own streaming music platform called MusicStation, and also provides the back end infrastructure for other music services including Samsung’s Milk, SiriusXM, and PonoMusic. The company has been struggling financially and was placed under administration—the U.K. equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy—earlier this year.
The $10 million deal doesn’t include Omnifone’s patent portfolio, so whoever bought the company is more likely interested in its technology and back end infrastructure. Omnifone has already terminated its deals with partners as part of the purchase.
Neil Young’s Ponos confirmed Omnifone broke off its relationships with partners. His music service posted a statement on the Ponos website telling subscribers about the purchase, and that they buyer was “a large company.” Ponos is currently looking for a new content provider and is essentially dead in the water until it does.
Omnifone clearly needed a buyer, but unless Apple was looking to aqui-hire the company’s engineers, a purchase doesn’t make sense. Without the patents in the deal, there isn’t much incentive to drop $10 million on the company, and Omnifone uses Amazon Web Services for its music storage—a service Apple is trying to move away from.
Put all those pieces together, and it looks like The Loop’s sources are right: Apple didn’t buy Omnifone.