Every month I take a 30,000 foot look at events in the ICT industry. This is my overview of April’s news, with a brief reminder of what was news in April a year ago! What you see here is a precis of the monthly report I produce, which will be available at the Eagle website over the next day or two.
Last year in April 2007 Google had a busy month, paying a whopping $3.1 Billion for Doubleclick, in addition to buying Marratech’s videoconferencing software; other big deals included CSC paying $1.3 Billion for Covansys; Mitel paid $732 million for Inter-tel, Software AG paid $546 million for webMethods and Business objects bought Cartesis for about $300 million. Also this time last year Lenovo announced cutbacks of 1,400 staff.
The big M&A deal in April 2008 saw a merger of the third and fourth largest chip makers STMicroelectronics and NXP into a $3 Billion company. IBM was busy, making three acquisitions this month Diligent, FilesX and InfoDyne; Yahoo bought Tensa Kft. despite spending time fending off the attentions of potential buyer Microsoft; and speaking of Microsoft they had a couple of acquisitions Farecast and Komoku; EMC also had a couple of forays into the M&A market with Iomega and Conchango plc.
Other than M&A activity this month there was some bad news from DELL, Symantec and AMD who all announced layoffs. Juniper Research tell us that more than 800 million consumers will be accessing banking services though their mobile phone over the next three years. Despite the US recession IT jobs increased 12% last quarter, which is a good reason to get your kids into IT … but it is engineers that rank as the hardest job to fill according to a Manpower survey. Finally the email scams are getting more sophisticated and “spear phishing” has been getting some press due to its levels of success.