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September IT Industry News

Every month I take a 30,000 foot look at events in the ICT industry. This is my overview of September’s news, with a brief reminder of what was news in September the last couple of years! What you see here is a precis of the monthly report I produce, which will is available in more detail at the Eagle website.

Two years ago in September 2006 the big news was the purchase of Freescale Semiconductor by a group of investment firms for $17.6 Billion! Close on the heels of that deal Motorola bought Symbol for about $4 Billion. RadioShack also hit the news in September 2006 for firing 400 employees … by email! A year ago in September 2007we saw an investment group buy3Comfor $2.2B. The other deal in the billions saw T-Mobile expand its US market share, paying $2.4 Billion for SunCom Wireless Holdings. The busiest acquirer a year ago was Yahoo with three acquisitions Zimbra ($350 Million),Blue Lithium($300 Million) and Participate Media(undisclosed). Also a year ago SCO filed for bankruptcy protection after losing a court ruling related to ownership of Unix and Intel laid off 10% of its worldwide work force.

September 2008is once again overshadowed by the financial markets, the collapse of investment banks and the potential bailout by the US Government has been filling the headlines. It was interesting that Forbes released its list of wealthy Americans now, with Bill Gates topping the list and Larry Ellison a couple of spots down. A Spherion survey suggests that IT people are worried for their jobs in this economy but here in Canada, Statistics Canada tell us that employment is up. HP announced they will dump about 24,000 jobs through the EDS merger, but it will result in 12,000 new jobs (they didn’t say where).

On the M&A front, to be expected there were no blockbuster deals this month . I expect nailing down good financing terms might be a little tough right now! There was however some activity with McAfee paying $465 Million for Secure Computing and Microsoft paying $485 million for Greenfield Online. a shopping comparison site. Other household names making acquisitions included Google, Red Hat, Intel, Oracle and Cisco. Perhaps the most interesting purchase was by Best Buy, who paid $120million for Napster… and will now compete with Amazon, etc in digital music!

That’s what caught my eye over the last month. Hope this was useful and I’ll be back with October’s news in just about a month’s time.