Posts Tagged ‘acquisition’
So – Google has acquired Motorola’s mobile phone business for a whopping $12.5 billion. Things just got very interesting in the Google, Apple and Microsoft battle.
Last week, we wrote about how Android was under threat in an ongoing patent war with a number of companies – including Apple, Microsoft and Oracle. An obvious step by Google was to embed itself in the handset business, but it’s probably fair to say that not many people saw this acquisition coming. To say this news is huge would be somewhat of an understatement.
Android now has around half of the global smartphone market. And combined with iOS, Google and Apple account for over two-thirds of the smartphone market globally.
It’s easy to explain Android’s dominance. It’s a free, open-source platform, and thus can be used by any mobile phone manufacturer, just as the likes of HTC, Samsung, Acer, Sony Ericsson, LG and Motorola already do.
The patent war…
However, Microsoft in particular has been taking swipes at Google through targeting handset makers that use Android – it’s built on the Linux Kernel, which supposedly infringes multiple patents owned by Microsoft. As such, companies such as HTC – which uses Android on many of its handsets – must pay Microsoft for each handset it sells with that operating system installed.
And in recent times, it seems the battle for supremacy has descended into simple patent acquisition to get one-up on rivals. CPTN Holdings is a consortium of technology companies that include Microsoft, Apple, Oracle and EMC Corporation. It secured a portfolio of 882 patents from Novell when it was acquired by Attachmate. Then there’s the Rockstar consortium, which also has Apple and Microsoft as members, and it recently won the auction of 6,000 patents/patent applications from Canadian telecoms company Nortel.
Google too has been engaging in similar patent-acquiring activities, recently securing over a thousand patents from IBM.
But news that Google has acquired Motorola Mobility means that besides now adding a mobile phone company to its repertoire, it also owns many, many patents.
The whole story via Motorola acquisition means Google gets 17,000 patents, 3 times Nortel’s.
Google is reportedly on the verge of closing a deal that would have the Internet search giant acquire AdMeld, a display advertising company.
Despite initial reports that the acquisition is already a done deal, sources speaking withThe New York Times contend that negotiations remain ongoing and nothing is yet certain about the acquisition.
Additionally, the NYT points out, a mega-acquisition such as this would probably draw some degree of regulatory review before the deal can officially close.
Admeld helps publishers sell display ads in real time. When Internet users arrive at a publisher’s Web site, in a split second advertisers can bid to buy ad space from the publisher to show to that user. Publishers do this using Google’s DoubleClick Ad Exchange, Yahoo’s Right Media, OpenX and other ad exchanges.
If the acquisition effort proves successful, however, the purchase will come as little surprise anyone, particularly in light of Google’s recently expressed newfound interest and enthusiasm for display advertising.
Just this week, Neal Mohan, Google’s vice president of display advertising, addressed the growing relevance and power of the display ad business at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s conference.
According to the New York Times, Mohan predicted that display advertising “would become a $200 billion industry and that people would see fewer display ads on Web sites but they would be more relevant and interactive, with video or in-ad games.”
Not Microsoft but Samsung?
News out of Finland has put Samsung as the latest potential buyer of ailing mobile vendor Nokia, shifting focus from Microsoft, which was also rumoured to be tabling a bid for the company.
The Wall Street Journal has attempted to chase Nokia and Samsung for comment – predictably, both have responded with statements that they do not comment on rumours.
Reports of a Samsung takeover by the WSJ may hold more weight than the speculative tweets of industry insider Eldar Murtazin, although the pundit has successfully predicted acquisitions and partnerships in the past. Nokia recently moved to state that Murtazin was “getting obviously less accurate with every passing moment” but did not categorically rule out an acquisition by Microsoft.
Nokia, which is currently working on readying Windows Phone devices to release in the fourth quarter of 2011, recently laid off 7,000 staff as it tried to streamline operations.
If Samsung was to acquire the stricken manufacturer, it would position the company as the top Windows Phone provider, in addition to the success of its Android offerings.
According to industry insider Eldar Murtazin, Microsoft has struck a deal to purchase Nokia’s mobile phone business for $19 billion. Just two weeks ago, Murtazin — who has a proven track record and was the first to report that Nokia has struck a deal to use Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform on its smartphones — suggested that Microsoft and Nokia were about to enter closed-door meetings to negotiate a possible purchase that could close sometime before the end of this year. It could make sense: Nokia’s CEO is former Microsoft executive Stephen Elop, and the two companies have already reached a deal to create new Windows Phone devices, a dozen of which are expected to launch next year. We’ll have to see how this pans out, but a Nokia spokesperson had already addressed Murtazin’s earlier claims, saying “Eldar’s rumors are getting obviously less accurate with every passing moment.” Nokia declined to comment on Murtazin’s claim this time around.
Apple, a company many said had repeatedly delayed the development and launch of the iPhone for fear that it might cannibalize its iPod business, is now a “mobile devices company” with a smartphone that is undoubtedly its flagship device. Chief Executive Steve Jobs and Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook have both publicly acknowledged this major transition on several occasions, including on stage while unveiling the iPad and on earnings calls while speaking with analysts. Apple is growing at an unheard of pace and stockpiling mountains of cash, all thanks to its mobile business. Personal Computers, Apple’s core business for nearly 30 years, now play second fiddle to the company’s mobile devices in terms of both revenue and mind share. On the other side of the table, old rival Microsoft is doing all it can to regain its footing in the mobile space after letting its Windows Mobile platform grow stale and moldy. Windows Mobile’s replacement, Windows Phone, is still in its infancy but early reports have suggested adoption has been slow at best. So where does Microsoft go from here?
Read the whole interesting story at BGR: With possible Nokia deal, Microsoft could try to become the next Apple.