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.
IBM on Wednesday said it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Lombardi, a privately held software company out of Austin, Texas which provides Business Process Management (BPM) software and services.
"Any discussion on business improvement inevitably leads to improving the processes that are at the heart of every company," said Craig Hayman, general manager, IBM Application and Integration Middleware. "Recognizing this, IBM has strengthened its presence and investments in business process and integration software to meet these growing client demands. Lombardi fills out our company's portfolio in this key area."
According to market research firm IDC, the market for BPM software will scale to $3 billion by 2018, up from $1.7 billion this year and representing a compounded annual growth rate of almost 15 percent.
For a long while, things weren't looking too hot for Oracle in its planned $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems. While the U.S. Department of Justice approved the deal, the European Union voiced serious displeasure over the idea of an Oracle-owned MySQL and threatened to block the deal.
That no longer looks to be the case. Now the European Commission is saying it feels "optimistic" that a deal between Oracle and Sun would no longer pose a threat to the European market for database software. So why the sudden about-face?
Oracle promised to preserve the viability of the free and open-source MySQL database application that it would acquire in the deal. According to a report in The New York Times, Oracle vowed to extend MySQL's existing commercial licenses for up to five years, while also making binding guarantees to companies and individuals that already use MySQL that it would not pursue intellectual property claims.
On top of it all, Oracle also said it would spend upwards of $72 million over the next three years in R&D to improve MySQL, negating any concerns that Oracle would turn a cold shoulder to the open-source database app in order to better sell its own paid software.
"Today's announcement by Oracle of a series of undertakings to customers, developers, and users of MySQL is an important new element to be taking into account in the ongoing proceedings," said Brussels' merger officials in a statement.
It was just over a year ago that Panasonic first began showing interest in purchasing a controlling stake in its smaller rival Sanyo Electric, and while it may have taken 13 months to pull the trigger, Panasonic proved to be anything but gun shy this week in a deal worth $4.6 billion.
That's how much Panasonic said it will pay to buy a 50.2 percent stake in Sanyo after closing its five-week tender offer that began on November 5. Panasonic, which is the world's largest plasma TV maker, will pay 131 yen, or about $1.48 USD, per Sanyo share.
The deal is considered a win for both sides. For Panasonic, it will now be able to draw upon Sanyo's technical prowess in solar panels and rechargeable batteries. And for Sanyo, the takeover comes at a time when the company has been struggling financially.
Panasonic said it will most likely retain the Sanyo brand and keep its shares listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, BusinessWeek reports.