Following months of paperwork, Hewlett-Packard on Thursday announced it had completed its $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm and now plans to use the company's webOS platform for new tablets and netbooks.
"Under Jon Rubinstein, former Palm chairman and chief executive office, the Palm global business unit will report to Bradley," HP said in a statement. "Palm will be responsible for webOS software development and webOS based hardware products, from a robust smartphone roadmap to future slate PCs and netbooks."
HP acknowledged that, with its backing, webOS is expected to shine in the mobile market, something it was never really able to do under Palm's leadership.
"With webOS, HP will deliver its customers a unique and compelling experience across smartphones and other mobility products," said Todd Bradley, executive vice president, Personal Systems Group, HP. "This allows us the opportunity to fully engage in growing our smartphone family offering and the footprint of webOS."
Online retail giant Amazon has today announced that they have acquired the Woot family of sites. No specifics on how much Amazon paid for the site were released. Statements from the Woot staff indicate that the site will continue to operate much as it always has and will be an autonomous subsidiary of Amazon.
The arrangement is likely to be similar to that of Audible or Zappos which have changed little since being acquired by Amazon. Woot CEO Matt Rutledge said of the deal, " From a practical point of view, it will be as if we are simply adding one person to the organizational hierarchy, except that one person will just happen to be a billion-dollar company that could buy and sell each and every one of you like you were office furniture." Did we mention we love Woot's sense of humor?
Jeff Bezos is building himself quite the little empire. But rest assured fellow geeks, we have every reason to think you will still be able to try (and fail) to snag a Bag of Crap in the next Woot-Off.
Broadcom is set to make an all-cash offer to acquire Innovision Research & Technology PLC, an NFC (Near Field Communication) specialist that specializes in short-range data communication.
The deal, which is worth about $47.5 million, gives Broadcom access to a whole host of wireless technologies, but it's the NFC products that Broadcom is most interested in.
Broadcom didn't detail exactly what its plans are following the acquisition, though it's likely the company will integrate NFC with its existing wireless technologies, which includes Bluetooth, 3G, GPS, and Wi-Fi.
We have all heard the rough details of the Google AdMob buy. The deal was worth $750 million in cash and stock, but we had no idea how much of each was involved. Well, thanks to some SEC paperwork Google has filed, we finally know. It turns out El Goog used $530 million in stock for the deal. Most of the remainder, about $220 million, would have been cash.
We find this breakdown interesting. Google has more than enough cash reserves to have paid for the whole thing in cash. Google is currently way into the black with over $26 billion in cash. The AdMob folks must feel pretty confident that Google's stock will continue to increase in value. With the way the search giant is attacking new markets, we'd probably say that's a safe bet.
IBM has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Coremetrics, a privately held company based in San Mateo, CA that specializes in Web analytics software, IBM announced on Tuesday.
"With this acquisition, we are extending our capabilities to give clients greater insight about customer behavior and sentiment about products and services, and give true foresight into their future buying patterns," said Craig Hayman, general manager, IBM WebSphere. "Marketing departments can benefit from these capabilities very quickly because we are delivering this in a Software-as-a-Service model. The combination of IBM and Coremetrics will maximize marketing expenditures and also make the buying experience more convenient, personal and interactive for consumers."
The acquisition comes on the heels of IBM's recently 2010 CEO study, in which Big Blue reported 88 percent of CEOs plan to focus on getting closer to their customers in the next five years, while 82 percent said they want to better understand their customer needs. Some 85 percent of CEOs said they need more visibility into their business, and these are all areas IBM hopes this acquisition will them address.
Throughout most of the 1990s, it would be pretty easy to figure out why anyone would want to purchase AOL, then a thriving online entity. But in 2010? We just don't see the draw. That doesn't mean no one else does, and according to Business Insider's Nicholas Carlson, insider sources have been chirping that AOL is in negotiations with Microsoft about a buyout.
This isn't the first time AOL has been mentioned as a potential acquisition target in recent times. In 2008, Yahoo came close to purchasing AOL before talks between the two companies broke down. Could Microsoft realistically be picking up where Yahoo left off?
"While there is strong strategic rationale behind such a deal, [it] doesn't seem likely," said Clayton Moran, an analyst for Benchmark Co., in an interview with Reuters. "We think Time Warner pursued a sale of AOL prior to spinning it out and wasn't able to find an interested enough buyer."
Then again, Microsoft is doing everything it can to improve its position in the search market game, and acquiring AOL would certainly help, even if the $2 billion to $3 billion asking price is a bit steep.
Following the $1.2 billion acquisition for Palm, many believed Hewlett Packard (HP) was looking for a fast-track way into the mobile device market, but that isn't the case, says HP CEO Mark Hurd.
"We didn't buy Palm to be in the smartphone business, Hurd said at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch technology conference earlier this week. "And I tell people that, but it doesn't seem to resonate well. We bought it for the IP. The WebOS is one of the two ground-up pieces of software that is built as a Web operating environment...We have tens of millions of HP small form factor Web-connected devices...Now imagine that being a Web-connected environment where now you can get a common look and feel and a common set of services laid against that environment. That is a very value proposition."
Hurd's comments certainly are in line with what HP has been crowing about ever since it purchased Palm, which is the IP portfolio. And while smartphones might not be on the agenda, HP did recently say that it plans on building a tablet around the newly acquired mobile OS.
Asus, which has showed an increased interest in the mobile market the past few years, wants to become a top-3 notebook vendor and is apparently willing to buy its way there, according to a report in the Chinese-language Commercial Times.
As the Commercial Times tells it, Asus chairman Jonney Shih is pretty adamant about growing its notebook business through acquisitions, and has already reached out to Toshiba. Nothing has yet been finalized, and it's not even clear how far the two are in discussions about a possible deal.
It's not surprising that Asus would be interested in Toshiba's notebook business. Toshiba, which focuses mainly on regular sized notebooks, currently ranks No. 5 both worldwide and in the U.S. in laptop sales, while most of the success Asus has enjoyed comes from its Eee PC netbook line.
IBM will spend about $1.4 billion in cash acquiring AT&T subsidiary Sterling Commerce, which specializes in business-to-business (B2B) commerce solutions and data integration software, the two companies announced today.
"Businesses today are operating in a highly competitive global environment in which lines between actions taking place within and outside an organization's four walls are blurring," said Craig Hayman, general manager, WebSphere, IBM. "This acquisition will give IBM new tools to help clients build dynamic business networks that connect partners, suppliers and clients and deliver a consistent customer experience across channels. In addition, the fact that much of this can be done in the cloud will make it compelling to large numbers of our customers."
IBM said it plans to integrate about 2,500 Sterling Commerce employees into the WebSphere organization within IBM's Software Group. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2010, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
Enterprise software vendor Novell has made it clear that its willing to accept bids from potential buyers, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Novell already turned down a takeover bid in March that would have valued the company at $2 billion. At the time, Elliott Associates offered $5.75 per share, but after reviewing the offer, Novell's board came to the conclusion that the amount was "inadequate."
Despite Novell making itself available, it's not a foregone conclusion that the company will be sold. Novell also said it would review its options, which could include a stock repurchase program or a joint venture.