Now that the Nokia-Microsoft partnership is official and both Nokia and Microsoft are trying to cope up with the competition being offered by Google and Apple, arises the question, who benefited the most from the partnership. Apparently, it seems like Microsoft is the bigger beneficiary when compared to Nokia. Why? It is rather simple to answer. Nokia has let go off its phone OS Symbian and has embraced Windows as its new phone OS. For doing this, it has to pay an unknown number of billions to Microsoft for allowing the use of Windows on Nokia phones along with paying some hefty royalties to Microsoft.
Following the announcement of the partnership, Nokia’s stocks slid by 14 percent. Under the pressure of the current situation, Nokia is planning to release its first Windows based handset by the end of this year. The once king of mobile technologies is indeed going through a tough time.
A report on the Wall Street Journal has claimed that AOL has been working with several investor companies including Silver Lake Partners and Blackstone Group to discuss a possible acquisition of Yahoo; one of the leading online media portals on the web. According to these reports, the discussions are in early stages with no involvement of Yahoo up to this point.
However, it looks like Yahoo may already be aware of AOL’s advances. Bloomberg has reported that the company has been working with the Goldman Sachs Group to thwart any attempt from AOL for a hostile takeover. The company’s General Counsel, Michael Callahan is said to be heading the takeover-defense efforts.
Late yesterday evening, Yahoo stocks at the NASDAQ stock exchange (NASDAQ:YHOO) soar 5.68% in anticipation of the acquisition. However, it will be interesting to see how the market reacts to the latest news that the Yahoo management may not be willing to budge from their position and are most likely to thwart AOL’s efforts.
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), the largest online retailer is learned to be negotiating with UK based DVD rental company, LoveFilm for a possible acquisition. According to reports on the Sunday Times, Amazon has made an offer that values the British company at close to 200 million Pounds ($313 million).
As of now, this is still a speculation since neither of the parties have confirmed the rumors. However, the possibility is not too far-fetched either. Amazon already holds close to 42% of the stakes in LoveFilm after the company’s European rental operations were merged with LoveFilm back in 2008.
London-based LoveFilm was established in 2002 and today operates in several European countries. The company is privately held and posted revenues of close to $150 million in 2009. The company handles close to 65,000 unique DVD titles in UK alone and has over one million registered members in UK, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany.
A couple of weeks back, I had written about rumors about Waterloo-based Blackberry manufacturer, RIM having acquired DataViz; the app developer behind the popular Documents 2 Go apps for platforms including WebOS. Now, we are hearing that this rumor may only be partially true. This is because, while DataViz insiders have agreed to the fact that RIM (NASDAQ:RIMM) in fact made an offering and have purchased several assets that belonged to DataViz, the company itself has not been acquired so far and the developers continue to work on other platforms including iPhone and Android.
Wesley Hamnett, the marketing and channel coordinator at DataViz has noted,
“That being said, while we did sell some of our assets to RIM, DataViz itself has not been acquired and is still very much in business.
We remain committed to many of the platforms that we supported previously including both iPhone and Android. In fact, we will be releasing several new versions of Documents To Go in the coming weeks and you can expect to see other offerings from us in the future as well.”
So there you go. That’s pretty much loose strategy on part of RIM, if you ask.
There is a recent rumor doing the rounds that Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)may be looking at Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) as a possible acquisition target. It is being speculated that Symantec, with its portfolio of security products, could be a great target for Microsoft whose Windows operating system has been a hacker’s favorite for quite sometime now. Following the rumors, the stock price of Symantec has seen a surge by 6% and is currently trading at $14.81.
However, you may have to take this latest bit with a grain of salt. As BNET points out, Microsoft has its own portfolio of security products including security essentials and firewall. So the company does not have a need to spend its cash on a company like Symantec to grow its base in the security segment. Also, Symantec softwares are not exactly known for their computer-friendliness with their ability to guzzle memory space. So, Symantec may not be the ideal high-value-low-price target that companies like Microsoft may look out for.
To be clear though, this is not a definitive argument and there are still a hundred reasons why the deal could actually go through. For the moment though, the rumors appear to be a media-frenzy that could only help pump up the market value of these stocks.
What do you think?
Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM), the Waterloo based manufacturers of Blackberry may have purchased DataViz , a popular app developer who is behind the popular Documents 2 Go application for mobile platforms like the Palm WebOS. According to reports, RIM may have paid close to $50 million for the acquisition of the app development company.
Strategically, the acquisition makes great sense. Blackberry is still the smartphone of choice in the enterprise segment and with popular enterprise applications, DataViz could truly complement RIM’s offerings. The acquisition will also help RIM make up for the lack of support from the development community who have not taken up to the Blackberry platform as enthusiastically as they have done with the iOS or Android platform.
However, neither companies have made an official announcement regarding the acquisition so far and so we will have to wait and see. But if the updates on the LinkedIn profile of several DataViz employees is anything to go by, then this rumor is potentially true.
Apple may be talking to audio chip maker Cirrus Logic regarding its plans to acquire the company – Barrons reports. The acquisition could take Apple one step closer to natively building integrated chips, codecs and audio equipment that are today used on their devices including the iPhone and iPod Touch. Apple has been focusing its attention on proliferating its growth in the media and entertainment division and this acquisition could bring a great value add.
However, it needs to be noted that this news is primarily a rumor at this stage and does not have too many backers though Apple is a huge customer of Cirrus. Nevertheless, the speculations have helped pump the share prices of Cirrus Logic that have risen 2.92% during trading on Friday. The stock is currently trading at $17.38
For over six years, hard core gamers have used the Xfire web service to connect with other gamers and also chat with gamer friends while playing the various MMORPGs like World of Warcraft and Call of Duty. Now, Viacom – the company that owns Xfire has announced that they have sold their stakes in the game chat service to Titan Gaming. The terms of the deal have not been announced.
In a message posted on the Xfire website, Chris Kirmse noted that his team was leaving and that “most of the team that has brought you Xfire for the last six years is leaving, including me“. This news of the acquisition was soon confirmed by Titan Gaming who noted that the company will “utilize the Xfire platform to help gaming companies better engage their users“.
Xfire was acquired by Viacom (NYSE:VIA.B) back in 2006 for $102 million.
Telefonica SA has announced that the company has agreed to purchase the shares held by Portuguese company SGPS SA in the Brazilian telecom company Vivo Participacoes SA. The agreement is said to be worth 7.5 billion Euros and is said to be an all-cash deal. In the first installment, Telefonica shall pay SGPS 4.5 billion euros and the rest of the money is expected to be paid in two separate installments.
There is a lot of activity happening on the Brazilian telecom front. SGPS SA is itself reported to be in talks with the country’s biggest telecom operator, Tele Norte Leste Participacoes SA to buy shares in Oi for a reported 3.7 billion euros. The Portuguese company is expected to gain 22.4% stake in Oi consequent to the deal.
The news is yet to have any significant impact on the Telefonica stocks. Telefonica’s ADRs at the New York Stock exchange (NYSE:TEF) are currently up a modest 0.49% and is currently trading at 66.05.
Nokia Siemens has announced that the company is buying a good majority of Motorola’s Gear business that will help the company create a much needed foothold in the American mobile broadband market. The deal is said to be in all cash and is expected to completed by the end of 2010.
There are three major take-aways for Nokia Siemens – a JV between Nokia, Finland and Siemens from Germany. Firstly, this will make Nokia Siemens the largest foreign vendor of wireless gear in USA offering it the much needed economies of scale. Secondly, the acquisition will help the company in reaching out to newer customers in USA and Japan. Thirdly, the larger footprint of Nokia Siemens’ new business will bring a larger value to its business partnerships with companies like China Mobile. Sprint and Vodafone.
The news is being greeted with rise in stock prices. Motorola (NYSE:MOT) has risen more than 2.67% in the hours following the announcement. The share price is currently at $7.70.