Cisco has shown no aversion to spending money acquiring companies in 2009, and that trend continues into the new year with the buyout of Rohati Systems, a security startup specializing in delivering agent-less access management for organizations.
Interestingly, neither company has so far dropped a press release announcing the acquisition, leading some to wonder if it was just speculation, but Cisco apparently confirmed the transaction to eWeek.
"Cisco can confirm that it has acquired privately held Rohati Systems, a developer of access management solutions for virtualized data centers and cloud-based networks," a Cisco spokesperson said, according to eWeek. "The employees of Rohati Systems will be joining Cisco's Nexus product team.
Neither company has disclosed financial terms of the deal.
BMC on Thursday announced it has acquired privately held Phurnace Software, a Texas-based company specializing in the development of automation software for deploying and configuring Java-based apps.
BMC's interest in the acquisition stems from the trend of businesses increasingly expanding their use of Java apps for critical IT services. According to BCM, managing the roll-out, stability, and configuration integrity of these apps manually or with script-based solutions proves unreliable and leads to costly delays.
"The increased frequency and criticality of application deployments and changes make it difficult and costly for IT organizations to rely on manual changes and deployment processes," said Ronni Colville, vice president and analyst at Gartner. "Organizations need to embrace an automated application release solution to ensure efficient, repeatable, accurate, and reliable application deployments."
Right off the bat, BMC said it plans to embed Phurnace technology into the BMC BladeLogic Server Automation Suite product.
Oracle probably hoped its first acquisition of year would be with Sun Microsystems, but while that transaction is still playing out, the database outfit went and snatched up data-quality vendor Silver Creek Systems.
Silver Creek Systems specializes in helping companies simplify and standardize product descriptions across various information stores through the use of its DataLens software. And up until now, the company competed with Oracle in data quality and data integration, which included some heavyweight customers, such as IBM.
Details of the deal are pretty sparse, including financial terms of the transaction. It's also unknown what Oracle plans to do with the future development of Silver Creek's products.
The memory market has been one of the hardest hit sectors in the tech industry, so it came as somewhat of a surprise when rumors started swirling that Kingston would go on a spending spree acquiring outsourcing partners Panram International and Orient Semiconductor Electronics (OSE). And with good reason, because as it turns out, the rumors aren't true, or at least that's what Kingston's saying.
Kingston, who expects to see revenues generated from Asia reach the $1 billion milestone when all the numbers are tallied for 2009, said it will continue to work closely with contract partners, but has no plans to buy or merge with any of them.
The memory chip maker also indicated plans to increase its outsourcing to Panram and OSE instead of ramping up its in-house assembly capacity.
MySQL developers from around the world are doing what they can to convince the European Union to rule against Oracle's proposed $7.4 billion takeover bid of Sun Microsystems. And therein lies the problem: there's not much the MySQL community can do at this point.
In a last ditch effort to block the deal, developers took to emailing regulators from not just the EC, but also Russia, China, and various other countries. In addition, they've put together a petition signed by 14,000 MySQL users, all protesting the acquisition.
"In less than one week, during the holiday season, we gathered 50 times more customer support than Oracle claimed three weeks ago, when it presented a few hundred orchestrated letters from customers to the European Commission," MySQL creator Michael Widenius said in a statement. "The campaign has only started, and the number of signatures will double very quickly."
The problem for Widenius, and everyone else who opposes the deal, is that time is quickly running out. Oracle made a series of concessions that has EU regulators ready to approve the deal, and according to eWeek's sources, it's going to happen within the month.
Nevertheless, Widenius promised to keep drumming up support for his campaign right up until the bitter end, which might not be that far off.
Just last week we heard that the FTC was increasing scrutiny of the Google AdMob deal, and now two prominent consumer groups are getting into the mix. Both Consumer Watchdog and Center for Digital Democracy have asked the FTC to block the deal on anti-trust and data privacy grounds. They claim that the acquisition would lessen competition and harm consumers.
The groups took issue with the amount of data Google would have on consumer behavior if the deal were to go through. Though, Google may already have enough of this sort of data. This may be one of those times when Google wants a company for what they do, not just what they know about us. But these sorts of complaints tend to play well at the FTC.
Google offered a steep $750 million for AdMob, which is expected to reach $100 million in revenue in the next three years. Many have speculated that a Google-backed AdMob could essentially wipe out competitors in the mobile advertising space. Does the acquisition concern you? Google does come right out and say they’re not evil, right?
Why wait for someone to buy you the present you really want? Oft times you don’t get what you initially desired, if you get anything at all. Twitter cut out the middleman in its holiday shopping, and bought itself Mixer Labs, the developers of GeoAPI.
GeoAPI is the geotagging API tweeters can use to add current location to their tweets. According to the Twitter Blog, current location information allows “new and valuable services to emerge--everything from breaking news to finding friends or local business.” Adding Mixer Labs to Twitter’s bag of tricks will allow Twitter to know both “What’s happening?” along with “Where is it happening?”
Twitter’s move comes as a bit of surprise, given it isn’t very active in the acquisitions market. Last pick-up by Twitter was Summize, which it acquired in July 2008. Tom Krazit, of CNET News, speculates that perhaps all the new cash Twitter’s getting from recent deals with Google and Microsoft are burning a hole in Twitter’s pocket.
Google, which already has a pretty substantial presence in advertising on the Internet, is seeking to extend its reach with the acquisition of AdMob, a mobile advertising start-up. A sign that the purchase may be raising antitrust concerns: the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which must first bestow its blessing on the purchase, is asking for additional information from Google.
Google’s Public Policy Blog reports: “This week we received what's called a "second request," which means that the FTC is asking for more information so that they can continue to review the deal.” Google’s not necessarily surprised by the request, because it knows “that closer scrutiny has been one consequence of Google's success.”
Google is still positive that the FTC will allow the planned purchase to be completed. Antitrust expert and Harvard law professor Andrew I. Gavil isn’t so sure. He believes the second request is not good news for Google. He points out that with a new set of FTC commissioners and a new administration, acquisitions such as this will get a more careful vetting.
Google's deal for AdMob isn't yet dead, but it is a bit further away from living than it was yesterday.
Avaya on Friday announced the successful completion of its acquisition of Nortel Enterprise Solutions (NES, not to be confused with the infamous gaming console) in a deal worth $900 million. Some analysts believe the sale will leapfrog Avaya ahead of Cisco in the enterprise telephony market.
"The completion of this acquisition represents another major step in Avaya's evolution and growth in the communications industry," said Kevin J. Kennedy, president and CEO, Avaya. "Avaya and Nortel Enterprise Solutions share a common vision for the future of business communications. By combining our complementary technology portfolios, deep industry specific domain expertise, sales channels and customer bases, the new Avaya will redefine business communications and help customers to reduce costs, simplify operations and increase their business agility."
Some 6,000 employees have joined Avaya as a result of the acquisition, including 25 high-level managers. Joel Hackney, who previously served as president at Nortel, will now serve as senior vice president of Avaya Executive Committee and President of Avaya Government Solutions and Data.
Yelp is a social networking company that concentrates on user reviews of local businesses, promising “Real People. Real Reviews.” Yelp has a presence in 40 states, and has user reviews on nearly 31,000 local businesses. Yelp has recently gone international, with London as its first foreign location.
Google has a serious interest in establishing itself in this same general venue. It is currently building directories of local businesses for its Place Pages, and creating links to Google Maps. But, Yelp offers much more: not just the reviews of local businesses, but a social network of people active in the acquisition and sharing of such information. (Never pay for something you can get others to do for free, right?)
By acquiring Yelp, Google would also enhance a revenue stream: more business advertising. Yelp sells sponsorships to businesses, ranging from $300 to $1,000 a month, for ads and favorable search result placement. Businesses can also promote themselves on their own profile page--something Google is presently offering.
The deal’s not done. And, it is suggested that despite the seriousness of negotiations, now that word has leaked about the possible deal, another suitor might jump in and snatch Yelp away.