April 16, 2003 1:01 PM PDT

Apple denies bid for record label

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Countering speculation that it is close to buying Vivendi Universal's record label, Apple Computer said Wednesday that it has never offered to make such an investment or purchase.

In a statement, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said there was no substance to comments by one of Vivendi's directors to Bloomberg News that Apple would make a bid for Universal Music Group.

"Apple has never made any offer to invest in or acquire a major music company. The press statements this morning attributed to Vivendi board member Claude Bebear are untrue, as Mr. Bebear has confirmed in a later report," Jobs said. "Beyond these comments, we will abide by Apple's policy of not commenting on rumors."

An Apple representative would not say whether the computer and software maker has had discussions with Vivendi or whether talks are ongoing. Last week, the Los Angeles Times reported on talks between Apple and Vivendi and said the discussions could lead to a bid of between $5 billion and $6 billion by Apple for the record label.

Jobs' statement comes ahead of Apple's earnings, which are due out later Wednesday.


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