The ability to grow is a key part of any business’ growth, and spotting a good deal can be crucial to this. Mergers and acquisitions have led to many great successes in the technology industry, as companies pool knowledge and resources in order to go forward together. But which deals have had the biggest effect on the industry as a whole? Here are ten of the most influential mergers of all time.
Vodafone & AirTouch – $57.9bn, 1999
Vodafone has grown rapidly since its inception to become one of the world’s top telecoms companies, and one of the reasons behind its growth has been a series of good acquisitions and mergers. Its largest deal came in June 1999, when it merged with US-based telephone provider AirTouch Communications to form Vodafone Airtouch Plc, which would go on to become Verizon Wireless later that year following a further merger with Bell Atlantic.
Comcast & AT&T Broadband – $47.5bn, 2003
Comcast is one of the largest players in the US broadband and internet supply market, and part of this can be attributed to its merger with AT&T Broadband which was at the time one of the largest deals in history. AT&T Broadband was the largest provider of cable television services at the time of the merger, having cost its parent company over $105bn to form, before the unit was spun off as part of an AT&T restructure in 2003.
Google & Motorola Mobility – $12.5bn, 2012
As part of its move towards building a stronger mobile device offering, Google announced it would be buying Motorola Mobility, one of the original smartphone pioneers, in May 2012. The deal was worth around $40 a share, or $12.5bn, and led to an extremely productive partnership before Google sold the division on to Chinese manufacturer Lenovo in February 2014 for a mere $2.91bn.
HP & Autonomy – $10.2bn, 2011
HP announced it would be buying British software firm Autonomy in August 2011, marking one of the largest acquisitions of a UK technology company ever seen, and a deal whose effects are still being felt today. The deal was closed by October 2011, but just seven months later Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch left the company following accusations of financial mismanagement and tales of internal conflict. An FBI investigation and several expensive lawsuits followed, including claims of bribery by HP firms in Russia, Poland and Mexico, leading to a major fall in stock prices and severe fines for the company.
Oracle & Sun Microsystems – $7.4bn, 2009
Oracle laid out a cool $7.4bn to acquire Sun Microsystems in 2009 as part of a move into the hardware market, as well as giving it control of software products including Java and SPARC Enterprise. The deal was subject to a major antitrust investigation, but was eventually approved amid reported pressure from US regulators, according to a later Wikileaks cable.
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