The FTC appears to be preparing to officially challenge Google's acquisition of AdMob on anti-trust grounds. Google has long insisted that the deal will not hinder competition. Sources say the FTC has asked AdMob's competitors to testify about the possible effect on the mobile advertizing industry should the deal go through.
Google announced the deal in November of last year, and the FTC took immediate interest. The Big G stated in December that the FTC was investigating the matter. In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, Google said, " Mobile-app advertising is less than two years old; there are more than a dozen mobile-ad networks." Google may have reason to worry as Apple is rumored to be gearing up for an entry inot the mobile ad space.
Google is still framing the situation with the FTC as a discussion, and not an adversarial legal battle. They are treading lightly hoping to get the deal approved, but all signs point to problems. Do you think the FTC has reason to fear a Google/AdMob deal?
Novell might be for sale, but only for the right price. And that price, as hedge fund Elliot Associates found out over the weekend, is higher than $2 billion.
"As you may know, on March 2nd, Elliot Associates, L.P. announced an unsolicited, conditional proposal to acquire Novell," Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian wrote in a statement. "Today we issued a press release announced that our Board of Directors has concluded, after careful consideration, including a review of the proposal with its independent financial and legal advisers, that Elliot's proposal is inadequate and that it undervalues the company's franchise and growth prospects. Additionally, we announced that our Board has authorized a thorough review of various alternatives to enhance stockholder value."
Novell's true worth is a point of debate. Some analysts contend that the company should have taken the offer at $5.75 per share, while others believe its value is much higher, pointing out the company's $1.82 billion in assets.
Server maker RadiSys last Thursday announced it has acquired privately-held Pactolus Communications Software Company, which develops next-gen IP communication solutions for converged TDM/IP and SIP-enabled VoIP networks.
"We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Pactolus," said Scott Grout, RadiSys President and CEO. "ReadSys and Pactolus have been partnering for years in the deliver of media server technology and applications. The addition of Pactolus strengthens our portfolio of telecommunication solutions for server providers and TEMs. The Pactolus team has extensive domain expertise in developing both legacy TDM enhanced services and next generation IP-based communication applications and platforms. We look forward to have them as part of the RadiSys team."
Pactolus brings to the table experience with customizable turnkey SIPware services in reservationless audio conferencing, prepaid/post-paid long distance services, residential/business Class 5 VoIP, and voice messaging.
Elliot Associates, a New York-based hedge fund who also happens to be one of Novell's largest shareholders, wants to acquire the enterprise software maker and hopes its offer of $2 billion will be enough.
Novell now has a tough decision to make. On one hand, cash hasn't really been a problem for the software vendor, who reported $991 million in cash and equivalents at the end of January. But at the same time, Novell's revenues continue to trend backwards, down 6 percent in the most recent quarter compared to one year ago.
"Over the past several years, [Novell] has attempted to diversify away from its legacy division with a series of acquisitions and changes in strategic focus that have largely been unsuccessful. As a result, we believe the company's stock has meaningfully underperformed all relevant indices and peers," Elliot said in a statement. "With over 33 years of experience in investing in public and private companies and an extensive track record of successfully structuring and executing acquisitions in the technology space, we believe that Elliot is uniquely situated to deliver maximum value to the company's stockholders on an expedited basis."
The offer on the table is $5.75 per share in cash, which was more than $1 over the software maker's closing price earlier this week. When news of the offer spread, however, Novell's stock shot up by as much as 29 percent to over $6 per share.
Google’s newest round of acquisitions appears to be continuing unabated with the purchase of photo editing site Picnik. The announcement was just made today on the Picnik blog. The posting was upbeat saying in part, “Under the Google roof we’ll reach more people than ever before, impacting more lives and making more photos more awesome.” We bet the gobs of money Google just threw their way must be nice as well.
Picnik was started in 2005 and has grown significantly. The site recorded over 16.8 million unique visitors last month. Unlike many startups, this one appears not to have existed solely to be acquired. Their product has been evolving and enjoys a committed user base. In fact, Picnik has been profitable since last year. The company was co-founded by former Google employee Jonathan Sposato. Other recent acquisitions by the search giant, like Aardvark and AppJet, were also started by former Googlers. It is certainly an interesting pattern.
Picnik already has some integration with Google’s Picasa (among others), so we may see that connection get even tighter. According to the Picnik blog though, nothing is changing right now. You can continue to use the site as you have before. Have you used Picnik before? Like it? Image via Picnik
Information management company Iron Mountain reached deep into its pockets and pulled out $112 million, which it used to acquire Mimosa Systems, Inc., the firm reported on Monday.
"We’re really excited about adding Mimosa Systems," said Ramana Venkata, president of Iron Mountain Digital, the technology arm of Iron Mountain. "We acquired Mimosa because we believe it offers the best archiving technology on the market, and the company shares our philosophy to help customers reduce the cost and risk of storing and managing information. By combining Mimosa’s on-premises archive with our cloud-based technologies, Iron Mountain can now store, recover and discover digital content wherever it resides. This is a great example of the type of technology acquisition that fits well within our long-term growth strategy."
The deal gives Iron Mountain an integrated archive for email, SharePoint data, and files, as well as provides the company an on-premises archiving option. In addition, Iron Mountain said it can now capture and manage a wider range of enterprise information from "edge-of-the-network" devices.
"It's a win-win situation for our customers and partners who can now leverage Iron Mountain's global reach and comprehensive information management services," said T.M. Ravi, president and CEO of Mimosa Systems.
Here's a fun fact - since 2003, the IBM Software Group has made over 50 acquisitions, which so far works out to about 7 per year. The latest of those was announced on Tuesday when IBM said it had scooped up Intelliden Inc., a privately held firm specializing in intelligent network automation software.
"Networks have become a critical part of the overall IT fabric, and organizations are demanding tighter integration and management of the entire infrastructure including applications, storage, servers and networks," said Alan Black, president and CEO of Intelliden. "Intelliden provides leading open, scalable and comprehensive network automation solutions, and this acquisition opens a world of new opportunities for our customers, partners and employees."
According to IBM, some 60 percent of network outages are caused by manual configuration errors. The company hopes its latest acquisition will help its customers avoid becoming one of those statistics, as well as improve staff efficiency.
IBM plans to integrate Intelliden's technology into its Tivoli Software.
In a deal first announced in November 2009, the European Commission has notified HP that it will not stand in the way of the company's $2.7 billion bid to acquire 3Com.
"The Commission concluded that the concentration would be unlikely to riase competition concerns," the EC said in a statement, adding that "the merged company would continue to face a number of global and effective competitors, giving customers the choice from a range of alternative providers for switches and routers."
No conditions were attached to the approval, and HP said it expects to close the deal by the end of June. However, China's competition regulator, the Ministry of Commerce, or Mofcom, hasn't yet ruled on the takeover, though the deal doesn't pose much threat to competition in China.
Both companies build networking products and by adding 3Com to its portfolio, HP will increase its position in the core networking space, as well as increase its competition with Cisco Systems.
Oracle on Wednesday said it was going to scoop up Convergin, an Israeli startup specializing in software that helps telcos extend their services across multiple networks.
"As communications service providers transition from legacy telephony networks to next-generation networks, the combination of Oracle and Convergin will accelerate new service innovation while reducing network complexity and cost," said Bhaskar Gorti, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Communications.
Oracle said it is still looking over Covergin's product roadmap and plans to update customers at a later date. Convergin's customers include T-Mobile and SaaskTel.
Micron earlier this week announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Numonyx in an all-stock transaction that would value the company at $1.27 billion.
"Acquiring Numonyx brings together two memory leaders and positions Micron to offer the most comprehensive, cost-competitive solutions in the industry to a broad range of customers and end-markets," said Steve Appleton, Chairman and CEO of Micron.
The agreement has Micron issuing 140 million Micron common shares to Numonyx shareholders, Intel, STMicroelectronics, and Francisco Partners. In addition, up to 10 million more Micron common share will be issued ratably to Numonyx shareholders, the company said.
Micron says it expects Numonyx's balance sheet to be debt-free after closing the deal.