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All posts tagged "acquisition"

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Microsoft Buys Skype: This is Good for Windows Phone 7 and Windows Tablets

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone News" @ 09:13 AM

"Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: "MSFT") and Skype Global S.à r.l today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will acquire Skype, the leading Internet communications company, for $8.5 billion in cash from the investor group led by Silver Lake. The agreement has been approved by the boards of directors of both Microsoft and Skype...With 170 million connected users and over 207 billion minutes of voice and video conversations in 2010, Skype has been a pioneer in creating rich, meaningful connections among friends, families and business colleagues globally...Skype will support Microsoft devices like Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and a wide array of Windows devices, and Microsoft will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities. Microsoft will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms."

I was initially a bit skeptical of the Skype purchase - and boy, I'm impressed that Microsoft and Skype were able to keep this a secret until just before the announcement - but upon further reflection (and reading the thoughts of others) I think this is a good move. Windows Live Messenger already has voice and video capabilities, but it never attained the mindshare and usage patterns of Skype. Skype has become a verb, and owning a verb in our world is a powerful thing. The biggest news for Windows Phone users is that you can bet powerful and deep integration into Windows Phone is now on the map. Skype's huge user base is nothing to scoff at, and if Windows Phone becomes the premiere Skype platform - especially as VOIP usage continues to soar - that can only mean good things for Windows Phone, and for the future tablet-optimized version of Windows 8.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sprint's Statement Regarding AT&T's Purchase of T-Mobile USA

Posted by Richard Chao in "Windows Phone News" @ 09:00 AM

"Sprint has officially voiced its opinion on the $39 billion AT&T acquisition of T-Mobile USA."

There were rumors last week that Sprint was in talks to acquire T-Mobile. That all ended yesterday with the announcement of AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile USA.

Sprint was the runner up in the bidding so they naturally would be one of the first to give their thoughts into the matter and they definitely raise a genuine concern. With the acquisition, Verizon and the new AT&T would command 80% of the market. It was already hard for Sprint to compete in the environment prior to AT&T's new acquisition, with two carriers dominating 80% (and increasing) coupled with the nature of the cellular industry infrastructure, it does appear there will not be a chance Sprint or anyone else can compete effectively. From looking at their issued statement, it looks like Sprint will be appealing to the FCC to block the sale. It'll be interesting to see Verizon's take into this matter which I'm sure will be issued soon.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

KIN Total Cost Nears One Billion Dollars

Posted by Ed Hansberry in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 02:00 PM

So just how much did the whole Danger acquistion and KIN project cost Microsoft? It looks like the total cost is approaching $1,000,000,000. Ouch. Engadged discovered there was a $240 million writeoff in Microsoft's June 30, 2010 financial statements and notes that it paid $500 million for Danger. What is not included in any of these numbers are:

  • Routine operation expenses Microsoft incurred for the unit since the Danger acquistion.
  • Hardware upgrades and purchases for the Sidekick infrastructure
  • Revenues from the Sidekick business (that would offset any costs)
  • Expenses, penalties and fees incurred when the Danger servers went belly up and ate all of the Sidekick data and Microsoft had to go in and fix it
  • Marketing costs for the KIN

All told, I suspect the venture wound up costing Microsoft over a billion dollars above any revenue it got from the Sidekick business. A billion dollars is a lot of money, but in the world of acquisitions, I suspect more money was blown when HP acquired Compaq or AOL acquired Time Warner.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

HP Buys Palm for $1.2 Billion. Yes, Seriously.

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Competition" @ 02:13 PM

"HP and Palm, Inc. today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which HP will purchase Palm, a provider of smartphones powered by the Palm webOS mobile operating system, at a price of $5.70 per share of Palm common stock in cash or an enterprise value of approximately $1.2 billion. The transaction has been approved by the HP and Palm boards of directors."

Of all the companies I was thinking about buying Palm, HP wasn't very high on the list - but now that I think about it, it makes quite a bit of sense. Palm has a lot of expertise in mobile devices, and by all accounts, their new generation of WebOS devices are pretty good. HP on the other hand has deep pockets and really struggled in the mobile space since PDAs became phones; they're never managed to have a very successful mobile device. They need people will skills and vision in the mobile phone space, something they've lacked for many years now. I wonder what this means for Windows phone 7? HP was a launch partner, and I was expecting them to release a Windows phone 7 device...I kind of doubt that will happen now. So, what are your thoughts on this? Engadget has a liveblog of the conference call as well.

Tags: hp, acquisition, palm, $$$

Saturday, April 24, 2010

HTC Gives Palm a Miss, Lenovo Still In the Game?

Posted by Darius Wey in "Windows Phone Competition" @ 11:35 AM

"Lenovo (0992.HK), the world's No.4 PC brand, has emerged as the leading candidate to buy struggling smartphone maker Palm (PALM.O), after the U.S. firm was rebuffed by other potential Asian buyers, sources said. Shares of Hong Kong-listed Lenovo rose as much as 5.9 percent percent to a 23-month high on Friday, helped by expectations of strong growth in the sector and speculation that it could bid for the U.S. company once considered a pioneer in the smartphone space... HTC (2498.TW), the world's No. 5 smartphone brand and one name associated with a possible offer, was approached about making a bid but decided to pass after reviewing Palm's books, a source with direct knowledge of the situation said."

Well, if you secretly wished for our beloved HTC to scoop up Palm, prepare to be sorely disappointed. Reuters has reported that the Taiwanese company has pulled out of bidding due to a lack of synergy that would otherwise be needed to "take the deal forward". Although, the article also mentions that the decision was reached following HTC's analysis of Palm's books, so Palm could potentially be in a bigger hole than first thought. Moving on, Lenovo has apparently emerged as the leading candidate to purchase Palm, and it's certainly in a good position to do so. But, will it happen? Only time will tell.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Handmark Spins Off Astraware After Only Two Years of Togetherness

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone News" @ 02:47 PM

"Handmark, the world's leading developer and distributor of mobile applications and services, today announced it has spun off its mobile games studio, Astraware, as the company streamlines its business to focus on other strategic areas of mobile development and support. Astraware returns to the management of Howard Tomlinson and David Oakley, two of the original founders, and will remain a Handmark preferred partner. Handmark will continue to support Astraware on a variety of distribution and promotional opportunities."

Back in January 2008, Handmark acquired prolific mobile device games-maker Astraware. Now, a bit over two years later, Astraware is back to being an independent studio. The press release (which isn't posted online yet) doesn't say why the two are splitting up - two years isn't very long in the world of blending two companies together - but perhaps the acquisition was made in haste...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Facts And Rumors On Palm

Posted by Ed Hansberry in "Pocket PC Competition" @ 01:00 PM

Yesterday we found out that the CEO of Palm, Ed Colligan, is leaving the company after being there for 16 years. Executive Chairman John Rubinstein will take the reigns as the CEO tomorrow, June 12.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Dell is warming up their acquisition engine again and there is a lot of speculation that the big company talked about is Palm. From Dell's perspective, it makes sense. They got in the PDA market and did well until smartphones started taking over and PDA's were on the way out. They have been working internally on their own phone, but acquiring Palm makes a ton of sense. Palm the design team, knowledge and carrier relationships.

What do you think?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Microsoft Walks Away From Yahoo!

Posted by Darius Wey in "Digital Home News" @ 07:23 AM

"Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) today announced that it has withdrawn its proposal to acquire Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO). "We continue to believe that our proposed acquisition made sense for Microsoft, Yahoo! and the market as a whole. Our goal in pursuing a combination with Yahoo! was to provide greater choice and innovation in the marketplace and create real value for our respective stockholders and employees," said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft. "Despite our best efforts, including raising our bid by roughly $5 billion, Yahoo! has not moved toward accepting our offer. After careful consideration, we believe the economics demanded by Yahoo! do not make sense for us, and it is in the best interests of Microsoft stockholders, employees and other stakeholders to withdraw our proposal," said Ballmer."

What a dramatic three months it's been. The press release continues with a very detailed letter from Ballmer explaining why Microsoft's offering of $5 billion on top of the initial bid wasn't enough for Yahoo!, and why the proxy contest never too place. No Microhoo!, I guess. Now, I wonder if Goohoo! is on the cards.

Update: Yahoo! shares fell 22% in pre-market trading. NYSE opens in under an hour.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Microsoft Increases Offer By Several Dollars, Yahoo! Happy?

Posted by Darius Wey in "Digital Home News" @ 09:45 PM

"After a months-long standoff, Microsoft and Yahoo are in active merger talks, a person involved in the discussions said. Microsoft, which had threatened to abandon its bid, has increased its offer “by several dollars,” this person said. The merger talks represent an enormous breakthrough following weeks of behind-the-scenes discussions without any progress. Exact terms being discussed could not be learned. The talks would explain the silence from Microsoft this week as it has refused to disclose its plans, despite threatening to bring a proxy contest if Yahoo didn’t reach a deal with it by last Saturday. Seven days have passed without any announcement from Microsoft about how it intends to proceed."

Well, this is certainly a more civil approach to the proposed acquisition, and it would explain why Microsoft has been so tight-lipped on the matter this week. Will we actually see Microhoo! emerge at the end of all this? Time will tell.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Acer Outlines Smartphone Plans

Posted by Darius Wey in "Pocket PC News" @ 07:25 AM

"Acer will likely launch its first smartphone near the end of this year or early next year and it will be a Microsoft-based device, the president of the company said Wednesday. Smartphones will represent as much as 10 percent of Acer's revenue in the next few years, said Gianfranco Lanci, president of Acer, at the company's first quarter investors' conference in Taipei... Acer's quick entry into the smartphone market comes largely due to its NT$9 billion (US$297.3 million) agreement last month to purchase handheld device maker E-Ten Information Systems of Taiwan. E-Ten has developed and sold several smartphone models over the past several years, including its Windows Mobile 6.0-based Glofish smartphone with GPS (Global Positioning System), in addition to other handheld electronic devices such as GPS devices and pocket PCs. Acer plans to focus on smartphones. E-Ten has already stopped selling PDAs, and GPS is already becoming a standard part of other devices instead of just on stand-alone gadgets, said Lanci. E-Ten has only sold its handsets directly to the retail market in the past. The boards of directors at Acer and E-Ten have already approved the deal, but they still face shareholder votes and approval by government regulators. The companies expect the deal to close in the third quarter of this year."

I cringed toward the end of this article. Either Lanci had his information wrong, or InfoWorld misquoted him. E-TEN hasn't stopped selling PDAs yet. Two new models, the M750 and M810, have just hit the market, and the V900 is still on track for a second half release. On top of that, the company's products certainly haven't been limited to direct retail market sales only as the article otherwise suggests. Nitpicking aside, Acer is hoping to complete the acquisition of E-TEN by the end of Q3, and have a new Windows Mobile phone out the door by early '09. Its specs is anyone's guess, although I sure hope they focus more on functionality and less on turning it into another Ferrari.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Microsoft Now More Danger-ous Than Ever

Posted by Darius Wey in "Pocket PC News" @ 11:16 AM

"Microsoft Corp. has completed its acquisition of Danger, Inc., the company announced today. Danger’s expertise in building great, intuitive client software for mobile handsets connected to powerful hosted back-end services fosters rich consumer experiences in communication, media sharing, entertainment and personalization. The combined force of Danger and Microsoft strengthens the company’s ability to provide innovative mobile experiences to more consumers. Danger will become a part of the new Premium Mobile Experiences (PMX) team, a group within the Mobile Communications Business (MCB) of the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. The PMX team focuses on consumer-facing mobile projects and is led by Roz Ho, corporate vice president of Premium Mobile Experiences, reporting to Andy Lees, senior vice president of the MCB. Danger co-founders Matt Hershenson and Joe Britt will join the new organization, reporting directly to Ho. “We imagine a mobile experience that embraces sharing and celebrating relationships and personal moments,” Ho said. “Combining Danger and Microsoft talents together in the Premium Mobile Experiences team is how we’re going to deliver cool, new, fun mobile experiences to consumers. We want people to smile every time they look at their phone.""

It'll be interesting seeing how Microsoft's mobile business model changes following the completion of its acquisition of the Hiptop/Sidekick company. It could be a great step forward. Or it could turn into nothing. Here's hoping the former, and that it does indeed produce mobile experiences that'll make us smile every time we look at our phone.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Microsoft to Yahoo!: You Have Three Weeks... or Else

Posted by Darius Wey in "Digital Home News" @ 02:00 AM

"Dear Members of the Board: It has now been more than two months since we made our proposal to acquire Yahoo! at a 62% premium to its closing price on January 31, 2008, the day prior to our announcement. Our goal in making such a generous offer was to create the basis for a speedy and ultimately friendly transaction. Despite this, the pace of the last two months has been anything but speedy... During these two months of inactivity, the Internet has continued to march on, while the public equity markets and overall economic conditions have weakened considerably, both in general and for other Internet-focused companies in particular. At the same time, public indicators suggest that Yahoo!’s search and page view shares have declined. Finally, you have adopted new plans at the company that have made any change of control more costly. By any fair measure, the large premium we offered in January is even more significant today. We believe that the majority of your shareholders share this assessment, even after reviewing your public disclosures relating to your future prospects."

Just when you thought talks of an acquisition of Yahoo! were winding down, Microsoft shows up to deliver Yahoo! a stern notice. They've been given three weeks to accept the initial offer or to come to an alternate agreement that would be willingly accepted by both parties. Failing that, the rumoured proxy contest will be realized: Microsoft will go straight to Yahoo!'s shareholders, and attempt to elect a new Board of Directors that will allow the acquisition to go through. Popcorn, anyone?

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