This is for those who enjoy curiosities / backstage stories.
Speaking to New York Post, Bob Wright who was head of NBCUniversal when it was still under the umbrella of General Electric said that GE could have bought the Apple in 1996 by the trifle of $ 2 billion.
At the time, Apple's CEO was Michael Spindler, who came to be replaced by Gil Amelio, who already took over the company in a critical situation. Spindler would have “begged” the then GE CEO, Jack Welch, to buy Apple.
Twenty years later, Apple is now worth more than $ 600 billion and GE less than $ 300 billion. In cash alone, Apple already has $ 216 billion, that is, enough to pay more than two-thirds of GE.
As bizarre as anyone can predict what would have happened to Ma if Welch had accepted Spindler's proposal; Apple probably wouldn't buy NeXT and Steve Jobs wouldn't even have returned in 1997.