EBay on Monday announced it had agreed to buy GSI Commerce, a provider of ecommerce and interactive marketing services, for $29.25 a share, which works out to around $2.4 billion. Under terms of the deal, the transaction is to be financed with cash and debt, and expected to close in the third quarter of 2011. In coming up with that time frame, eBay probably wasn't expecting a lawsuit, but it got one anyway.
Commodore USA, the same company who recently announced plans to start shipping an Atom-powered replica of the original C64, claims to have just acquired the rights to the Amiga name and will also be launching a full line of new Amiga branded all-in-one keyboard computers.
"We are ecstatic to be partnering with Amiga Inc. in this new, exciting product launch," Barry Altman, President and CEO of Commodore USA, said in a statement. "The legacy of the Commodore and Amiga trademark brand, reunited once again after so many years, and our reintroduction of the legendary All-In-One computer keyboard form factor, combined with the twenty-five year anniversary of the introduction of the first Amiga computer by Commodore International, is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Commodore USA has now taken a major role in not just supporting the future Amiga market with our many new products, but also in providing a new beginning for the enormous existing Amiga community."
Decidedly less excited about the announcement is Hyperion, the Belgium company behind the AmigaOS, who also holds rights to the Amiga brand.
"Our American lawyers will take action against this," Hyperion said in a forum post. "This is [a] blatant violation of the rights Hyperion Entertainment secured in the settlement agreement with Amiga Inc., Itec, and Amino."
Sources are reporting that Yahoo is in talks to purchase location-sharing service Foursquare for $100 million. A source within Yahoo has said only that they've " had discussions" with Foursquare. Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley has spent the last few days meeting with companies including Apple and Facebook, but it's Yahoo that has been pegged as the most interested.
Yahoo has had a tough time as of late with their search business faltering and a botched Microsoft acquisition. Buying Foursquare would be a quick and easy way to get in on the location-based services game. Even with the offer of quick cash, Foursquare may not sell. Crowley has previously stated he only sold his last startup to Google because he was unable to get funding.
Yahoo missed out on purchasing Facebook in 2007, if given the opportunity to buy their way into social media again, it's unlikely they'd turn it down. Yahoo's official word is, you guessed it, " We don’t comment on rumor or speculation."
Google’s spending spree continues unabated with the acquisition of video hosting platform Episodic. The Episodic product and team is expected to folded into YouTube. Episodic allows users to create video libraries with ad insertion capabilities and support for credit card transactions. Google did not release the price paid for Episodic.
The Episodic player currently works on both desktop browsers and the iPhone. There is not currently support for Android, but that support is supposed to be coming soon. Though, it is unclear what form Episodic will take now that the team will be working at YouTube. Episodic is primarily for serious content producers. In addition to the advertizing and transaction tools, the service also has the ability to syndicate content to other services like Amazon, iTunes, or Hulu.
Google just recently acquired online photo editor Picnik, and Google Docs competitor DocVerse. It may be that Google is trying to strengthen their online offerings in anticipation of Chrome OS computers later this year.
At this stage in the takeover game, there's little doubt Oracle will soon add Sun Microsystems to its portfolio, and according to Oracle, it's going to happen soon.
"We expect the European Commission to unconditionally clear the acquisition of Sun in January," said Oracle president Safra Catz yesterday, as the firm reported its second quarter results. "I want to thank all of our customers for the overwhelming support they have given us during this process."
Unconditionally? Only if ignoring the concessions Oracle made in order to get to this point. Just last week Oracle promised to preserve the viability of the free and open-source MySQL database application that it would acquire in the deal. More specifically, the company promised to extend MySQL's existing commercial licenses for up to five years, while also making binding guarantees not to pursue intellectual property claims against companies and individuals who already use MySQL. Oracle also agreed to spend upwards of $72 million over the course of the next three years in R&D to improve MySQL.
But if we can look past all those concessions, then sure, the EC will in all likelihood "unconditionally" approve the $7.4 billion acquisition.
North American readers might find it hard to believe, but a number of companies are currently involved in a bidding war over the ICQ instant messaging division of AOL. The service died off for the most part many years ago in North America, but the service still sports over 33 million users worldwide, and is the number 1 provider in Russia with over 8.3 million IM’ers.
The list of interested companies include Google, DST, and Nasper. Google’s interest in ICQ is most likely because of the Russian connection. This is a market where they have struggled somewhat to gain a foothold, and buying into an existing customer base is an easy way to make up some market share.
How seriously does Cisco want to acquire Norwegian video conferencing firm Tandberg? Serious enough to increase its original takeover offer by another $390 million.
"The new offer represents the offeror's final price for this transaction," Cisco said, adding that it will withdraw the offer if it doesn't achieve the desired 90 percent level of acceptance, the Wall Street Journal reports.
In early October, Cisco offered to buy Tandberg for a little under $3.1 billion, which already represented an 11 percent premium to Tandberg's share price. Cisco said it was a "fair price" for the firm and hinted that it might walk away from the deal if not approved, but several minority shareholders disagreed and ultimately rejected the original offer.
It's believed that the new offer will probably be accepted, which already has the support of several bigger shareholders.
"We continue to believe that Cisco and Tandberg share a vision of changing the way people communicate and collaborate, and that the combination of world-class technologies, Cisco's global scale, and exceptional people from both organizations will enable us to accelerate innovation and market adoption," said Fredrik Halvorsen, Tandberg Chief Executive.
3Com's board of directors and the company's shareholders appear to be at odds over a proposed $2.7 billion merger agreement with HP that was announced last week. Displeased with the potential merger, the shareholders have filed a class action lawsuit in hopes of preventing the deal.
The complaint names the entire company's board of directors and accuses the defendants of attempting to deceive 3Com shareholders by agreeing to a deal that undermines the true value of their investment in the company, TechCrunch reports.
Under terms of the agreement, HP would pay stockholders of 3Com $7.90 per share, but the bankruptcy lawyer who filed the case on behalf of the plaintiffs argues that 3Com's directors should have insisted on a higher price.
In a blockbuster deal, Hewlett Packard on Wednesday announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase 3Com at a price of $7.90 per share. That breaks down to about $2.7 billion and puts HP, which is already a strong networking company, in a better position to compete with Cisco.
"“Companies are looking for ways to break free from the business limitations imposed by a networking paradigm that has been dominated by a single vendor," said Dave Donatelli, executive vice president and general manager, Enterprise Servers and Networking, HP. "By acquiring 3Com, we are accelerating the execution of our Converged Infrastructure strategy and bringing disruptive change to the networking industry. By combining HP ProCurve offerings with 3Com’s extensive set of solutions, we will enable customers to build a next-generation network infrastructure that supports customer needs from the edge of the network to the heart of the data center."
The acquisition will help HP build its networking portfolio, particularly in expanding the company's Ethernet switching offerings and routing solutions, HP said the move will also help strengthen its position in the fast growing Chinese market.
Terms of the transaction have already been approved by the HP and 3Com board of directors and is expected to close in the first half of 2010.
Panasonic earlier in the week said it had begun a tender offer to take over rival Sanyo for an estimated $4.4 billion, which would create one of the world's largest electronics companies. But before that can happen, China is forcing Panasonic to sell off assets in Japan if its to approve the deal, the Financial Times reports.
The landmark ruling, which is based on anti-trust laws introduced in August of last year, has some concerned over the growing power of Beijing's competition authorities. Those who study competition law say the Chinese demands go further than those of the European Union and make international companies take greater notice of China when considering acquisitions.
Should the deal go through, Sanyo is expected to become Panasonic's subsidiary by mid-December, or a year after the two companies first announced the potential takeover.