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July 29, 2014updated 22 Sep 2016 11:39am

10 of the most important technology mergers

Which deals have made the biggest impact?

By Vinod

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

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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.


Microsoft & Nokia – $7.2bn, 2013

The mobile phone market suffered a deep blow earlier this year as Microsoft completed its takeover of Nokia’s devices business in a deal worth around $7.2bn. Under the terms of the deal, Microsoft acquired 32,000 employees and the rights to Nokia’s mobile patents, including the successful Lumia family of devices, which have now been rolled into the Microsoft family as it looks to launch itself into the smartphone market.

Microsoft & aQuantive- $6.3bn, 2006

As mentioned above, Microsoft has historically had a strong track record when it comes to business deals, one of the factors that has made it the leading company it is today. However, the $6.3bn it laid out on advertising and publishing group aQuantive in 2006 proved to be a rare miss. Both sides blamed each other for poor inter-managing and not playing to the other’s strengths, before Microsoft eventually bit the bullet and wrote down around $6.2bn of the original cost in July 2012.

Google & DoubleClick – $3.1bn, 2008

Ever wondered how Google makes so much money from its search engine? The answer is through advertising, and it’s thanks to services like DoubleClick that it has become such a success. The company, which develops and provides Internet ad serving services, was acquired by the search giant for $3.1bn in March 2008, with all DoubleClick employees merging into Google.

IBM & SoftLayer – $2bn, 2013

As part of its expansion across the public cloud market, computing giant announced a $2bn merger with SoftLayer in July 2013 to create the new IBM Cloud Services Division. The move was one in a series of big-money purchases by IBM as part of a major expansion, as the company acquired eight other cloud services providers in the two years prior to the SoftLayer merger.

Google & YouTube – $1.65bn, 2006

The deal that arguably established Google as one of the major players in the world’s eyes, the search giant’s acquisition of video-sharing site YouTube in 2006 was initially greeted with suspicion; especially due to what many thought was an over-inflated price for a company that was only a year old at the time. But Google has rapidly integrated YouTube’s services into its operations and helped both companies grow an enormous amount.



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