Google To Buy Groupon?

Groupon, the daily deals website has been the subject several acquisition related rumors in the past. Earlier this year, we had word that Yahoo was in talks with the company over a possible acquisition. That apparently fell through. Now there is word that Google could be wooing the company in a bid to reaffirm its position in the local commerce market. According to reports, Groupon has a reported revenue of close to $50 million a month and that Google could be making an offer that is notably higher than the $2-$3 billion that was offered by Yahoo.

Though the revenues are pretty attractive, the Groupon management has apparently been actively talking to the potential buyer themselves. The reason, it is believed, is possibly because of possible uncertainties of the business model in the long run.

Anyway, let us wait and watch to see how these rumored talks pan out.

HP Enters Smartphone Segment With Palm Acquisition

Finally the drama surrounding the acquisition of Palm came to an end with Hewlett Packard announcing that the company is acquiring Palm for an estimated $1.2 billion.

Making the announcement on the company’s website, Todd Bradley, executive vice president, Personal Systems Group at HP said,

“Palm’s innovative operating system provides an ideal platform to expand HP’s mobility strategy and create a unique HP experience spanning multiple mobile connected devices. And, Palm possesses significant IP assets and has a highly skilled team. The smartphone market is large, profitable and rapidly growing, and companies that can provide an integrated device and experience command a higher share. Advances in mobility are offering significant opportunities, and HP intends to be a leader in this market.”

The acquisition is expected to be completed by July 31st of this year with every shareholder of Palm receiving $5.70 in cash for the stock that they hold.

[via HP]

Google Travel : Acquisition Talks On With Travel Software Developer

Typing Google.com/travel takes you to a really old webpage where Google is seen coaxing travel marketers to use their Adwords program to reach their target audience. This could possibly change soon.

According to reports on the BusinessWeek, Google is in advanced talks with ITA Software Inc., a developer of travel program used by companies such as Orbitz.com, Kayak.com and Microsoft Bing. The cost of acquisitions, by some estimate, is expected to top $1 billion!

However, do note that the talks are still on, and like it happened with Yelp, either party may still walk away from the bid. Nevertheless, we at least now know that Google is interested in venturing into the travel segment.

[via BusinessWeek]

Aol ICQ Acquisition : TenCent Joins Bidding Race

After AOL was spun off from its parent Time Warner, the company has been focusing on building its content business so much so that other non-core assets including the popular ICQ have been put on sale.

As of now, three bidders have expressed their interest to buy the popular chat messaging platform. After Russia’s ProfMedia and DST placed their bid to acquire ICQ, China’s popular chat messaging solutions company TenCent too has placed its bid.

ICQ has over 42 million users worldwide, of which nearly 18.5 million are just from Russia. This explains why two Russian firms are active in the fray. ProfMedia is made to have made a bid for $120 million though AOL has put its own valuation for ICQ at $300 million

[via Reuters]

Lenovo Palm Acquisition

Yet another day, yet another acquisition rumor. The slow unimpressive sale of WebOS devices is not news anymore and Palm is known to be taking a few steps in order to position their handsets better in the market.

However, we now hear that popular computer hardware maker Lenovo may be interested in acquiring the smartphone manufacturer to expand its penetration in the smartphone market. While nothing is confirmed, Lenovo could be expected to either use the Palm brandname to extend their reach or may simply use the resources at Palm to further their own interests.

Eitherways, be forewarned that this is just a speculation and needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

[CNBC via Electronista]

Yahoo – FourSquare Acquisition

Rumors are doing the rounds that Yahoo is eyeing popular location based startup FourSquare. The value of the deal is rumored to be $100 million.  According to reports on the Silicon Alley Insider, a source close to Yahoo revealed that the discussions have happened though nothing can be committed since Yahoo talks “to everybody“.

True? Maybe. But VentureBeat sees conspiracy in the whole affair. The website writes that the story could have been cooked up by investment bankers hired by FourSquare in an attempt to push the valuations of the company up. VB writes,

“Foursquare’s bankers are hoping to push the four venture capital firms said to be interested — Accel Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, and Redpoint Ventures — into raising their bids from the currently rumored $80 million valuation by scaring them with the notion of a sale to Yahoo.”

Sounds logical. Where do you think the truth lies?

[via VentureBeat]

Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Investment To Exceed $1 Billion

A while back, there had been rumors that Microsoft could be acquiring RIM or Palm in order to turnaround its sagging fortunes in the smartphone segment. However, according to Bill Koefoed, a manager of Microsoft investor relations, the company could be investing as much as $1 billion in developing its Windows Phone 7 platform.

What this could then mean is that an acquisition of Palm or RIM is out of question now. One had imagined Redmond to acquire one of these handset manufacturers not just for the hardware but also the OS platform that they had built. But with so much money pumped into the research and development of the company’s in-house OS, it is unlikely that Microsoft could still be looking at an acquisition.

[via Forbes]

Google Could Bring iTunes-Like Application For Android

Is Google preparing to launch a cloud-based iTunes rival for Android users? According to reports, Mountain View is in talks with a Los Angeles based cloud-music service startup called Catch Media over possible acquisition of the service.

Catch Media is a six year old company that focuses on letting users organize their music and media in order to be able to access them from anywhere, including mobile phones. The company claims to be the ATM for media industry and has already signed up licensing agreements with four major record labels.

Both Google and Catch have apparently refused to comment. Nevertheless, it comes as a great strategic move for Google. Late last year, Google introduced a Music OneBox on their search results to let users play music from their search pages itself. An acquisition of Catch Media’s technology can take their competition against Apple one notch further.

What are your thoughts on this?

[via CNET]

Will Google Buy T-Mobile To Enter Telecom Industry?

A recent report by Gerson Lehrman Consulting group has recommended an acquisition of T-Mobile by Internet giant Google. In their recent report, the analysts claim T-Mobile’s rumored decision to generate additional funds to grow their business could be in complete sync with Google’s own ambitions to move into the network connectivity space.

T-Mobile, part of Deutsche Telekom is the fourth largest carrier in the US with close to 14% market share. However, the company has failed to grow to its potential and has constantly fallen to accusations regarding a poor network infrastructure. It has been recently rumored that the company may either choose to file an IPO to generate funds or could be planning to spin-off the American business into a separate entity.

“With Google Voice and now the Nexus One, like it or not Google is becoming a telecom operator. Perhaps their relationships with carriers will go the way of their relationship with Apple…friends first, now direct competitors

I believe Google views the largest U.S. operators as competitors and are obstacles to owning the mobile channel, and if they purchased T-Mobile they would pick-up 33 Million new Google Voice users “

While this is entirely speculated information at this point, it does appear to make great business sense. Will we see Google Telecom soon? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

[via GL Group, CNET]

Will Amazon Buy Netflix This Time?

Rumors of Amazon being interested in Netflix are not new. There was talk about this as early as June of last year though at that point, it seemed more unlikely since Netflix’s strategy of staying with physical goods did not fit Amazon’s core philosophy of selling digital content.

However, a lot of things have changed since then. Netflix now allows video streaming and according to its latest quarterly report, 48% of its users at least streamed 15 minutes of video in this quarter. Besides this, Netflix’s subscription model has seemingly been received better among its registered users compared to Amazon’s pay-per-view model. Nearly 97% of the company’s 12.2 million registered users are paid subscribers. All this has given the DVD renting company an overall market value of $3.4 billion.

Collins Stewart analyst Sandeep Aggarwal says Netflix’s recent online streaming model along with newer market dynamics can mean Amazon will be flirting with the idea of acquiring the Los Gatos, CA based company. “There is now even a higher possibility. If someone is a category leader and it is still growing rapidly, they go ahead and acquire it”, he says referring to Amazon’s recent acquisition of online shoe retailer, Zappos.

What do you think? Will a Netflix acquisition be a good fit for Amazon? Let us know in the comments.

[via WSJ]