updated 01:35 pm EST, Tue November 19, 2013
Investor tries to put rumors to rest
Wealthy investor Carl Icahn says he has no plans to push for Apple to buy out Nuance, according to a new Reuters report. Icahn spoke on the topic Monday, at the Reuters Global Investment Outlook Summit. "That is something I would never micromanage and never even think of telling [Apple CEO] Tim Cook," he said. "It has zero to do with the fact that I'm involved with Apple."
Icahn has large investments in both companies -- some $2.5 billion, in the case of Apple -- and has been speculated as wanting a deal. Nuance technology is integral to Apple's Siri voice command system, and absorbing the company would allow Apple to halt royalty payments and make any technological changes it wants. Icahn, though, adds that he doesn't have "the expertise or the presumption to say I have the expertise to tell him [Cook] to do that."
The investor's main push has been for an immediate expansion of Apple's share buyback program to $150 billion. Cook and Icahn have communicated several times on the topic; so far though neither side has indicated signs of progress, and indeed Apple executives are believed to be reluctant to let a shareholder like Icahn influence how the company spends cash. The current buyback program is capped at $60 billion, and due to run through 2015.