Oracle, which makes databases and other software, said the U.S. Department of Jusice has approved its plans to acquire Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion.
The bid to acquire Sun was first announced in April and Sun shareholders approved the acquisition on July 16, but the deal has been in limbo following the DOJ's extended antitrust review. According to a lawyer for Oracle, the DOJ needed more time to review an issue about the way rights to Java are licensed, the Wall Street Journal reports.
With the DOJ no longer a roadblock, Oracle still faces a few more hurdles before the deal can go through. The acquisition is subject to certain conditions and also needs approval from European regulators, which said it will weigh in with an initial opinion in September.
While the details are currently fuzzy on the whole deal, what can be said for certain is that FriendFeed is now a part of Facebook.
Notably, Facebook has used many aspects of FriendFeed (such as the “like” feature and real-time updates), so the merger seems like a perfect fit. And, FriendFeed’s staff is made up of an all-star cast of ex-Google employees, so the acquisition will only strengthen the struggling social networking giant.
There’s been no word yet on how it all went down, but what can be said for certain is that all of FriendFeed’s employees are still going to have jobs.
Google this week announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire On2 Technologies, a video compression technology company which holds licenses for Adobe for Flash video, Sun Microsystems for Java-FX, Skype for video conferencing, and Movie Networks for delivering HD web TV.
"Today video is an essential part of the web experience, and we believe high-quality video compression technology should be part of the web platform," said Sundar Pichai, Vice President, Product Management, Google. "We are committed to innovation in video quality on the web, and we believe that On2's team and technology will help us further that goal."
On2 stockholders will receive shares of Google class A common stock, the number of which will be determined by dividing $0.60 per share by the volume weighted average trading price during the twenty trading-day period ending on and including the second trading day prior to meeting with On2's stock holders to vote on the merger agreement, Google says.
The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2009.
"Be careful of investing here," he told Reuters when prodded about the possibility of News Corp acquiring Twitter. He was speaking upon his arrival at the Sun Valley media and technology conference. “Hell no,” was his terse, emphatic reply when asked about his willingness to sell MySpace. He even took a dig at Facebook by likening it to a humdrum “directory.”
Zenimax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Software – the developer behind the Fallout and Elder Scrolls franchises, announced on Wednesday it has acquired id Software, the game studio credited with such massive hits as Doom, Quake and Wolfenstein. However, Zenimax has not divulged the financial details of the transaction. id Software’s top brass, including its founder and technical director John Carmack, will continue to be in charge. Bethesda will publish all new id Software titles from now on.
Noticeably absent from the momentous solid state drive (SSD) market is Western Digital, whose Raptor hard drives have often been used as a performance comparison when benchmarking the fastest SSDs. Following a $65 million cash acquisition of SiliconSystems, a supplier of SSDs for the embedded systems market, look for Western Digital to soon jump into the foray.
"We are delighted to have the SiliconSystems team join WD," said John Coyne, president and CEO of WD. "The combination will be modestly accretive to revenue and margins as a result of SiliconSystems' existing position as a trusted supplier to the well-established $400 million market for embedded solid-state drives. SiliconSystems' intellectual property and technical expertise will significantly accelerate WD's solid-state drive development programs for the netbook, client and enterprise markets, providing greater choice for our customers to satisfy all their storage requirements."
Western Digital says it has immediately begun integrating its acquisition, starting with SiliconSystems now becoming known as the WD Solid-State Storage business unit.
In a related Q&A regarding the acquisition, WD says it plans to "retain substantially all of the approximately 100 employees" working for SiliconSystems. However, WD was more coy when it came to offering an ETA for marketing SSDs, saying that it only announces new products when they begin shipping.
Steve Ballmer’s luncheon meeting with Yahoo’s chairman Roy Bostock is being seen as a straw in the wind of a possible deal between the companies they serve. The possibility of such a deal has been ostensibly revived with last week’s meeting and the appointment of a new CEO over at Yahoo. But it might not be a great thing for Microsoft, after all.
Microsoft should concentrate on its core business of software, rather then treading Google’s domain – online search advertising, according to Slate’s Farhad Manjoo. In fact, he goes as far as saying that Microsoft should not even be in online advertising being a software company.
He points out that Microsoft’s core business has been ignored for a while and cites Vista and Windows Mobile as emblems of that ignorance. Manjoo finally has some M&A advice for Microsoft: buy Palm for just $1 billion or $2 billion instead of Yahoo - and its plethora of problems - for tens of billions.
Palm’s upcoming Pre is being tipped as the iPhone killer - that everyone is so desperately dying to encounter. Its interface does not appear to be a mere reinvention of the iPhone wheel, and may just be at the vanguard of mobile phone technology. On the other hand, Windows Mobile is a touch quaint compared to other mobile operating systems. So you can see why Microsoft’s unofficial M&A advisor believes that Palm may prove to be a better buy than Yahoo.
Qualcomm has bought AMD’s handset division for $65 million. AMD has disposed of the handset business to exclusively focus on its fundamental businesses. The handset business has only spewed losses and caused despair ever since it fell into AMD’s lap as part of its 2006 acquisition of ATI.
Qualcomm has agreed to retain some of the existing employees involved in the handset division, although the exact figure hasn’t been revealed. Qualcomm will use the technology, which has changed hands as part of the deal, to develop more advanced graphics and audio solutions for mobile devices.
Fujitsu will have to wait longer to get rid of its blighted hard disk drive business as talks between the Japanese company and Western Digital failed to bear any results. Kuniaki Nozoe, Fujitsu’s President, stated in the most unequivocal fashion possible that the deal is off. According to him, the talks fell off after Western Digital refused to accede to Fujitsu’s demands.
Fujitsu was keen on selling its Japanese plants and the ones abroad as a bundle. It even insisted upon most of the people employed in its hard drive business retaining their jobs. According to a Japanese newspaper, the asking price was $550 million.
Amazon has agreed to acquire casual web gaming company Reflexive Entertainment. The move marks the internet behemoth’s foray into casual gaming. Reflexive was constituted in 1997 and is stationed in Orange County, California. Reflexive is working on a game development and distribution service called Reflexive Arcade.
The Reflexive Arcade service will be restricted to only PC, Mac and web-based games. The true motivation behind this particular acquisition is not yet known. The two companies haven’t made the details of the transaction public.