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IT Industry News April 2013

This is my 30,000 foot look at events in the ICT industry for April 2013. What you see here is a précis of the monthly report I produce, which will be available in more detail at the News section of the Eagle website, where you will also find back issues.

A Little History of April in previous years …

Five years ago in April 2008 STMicroelectronics and NXP merged to create a $3 Billion chip company.  IBM was busy, making three smaller acquisitions this month Diligent, FilesX and InfoDyne; Yahoo bought Tensa Kft. Despite the attentions of 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. 

In April 2009 Oracle entered the hardware business with its $7.4 Billion purchase of Sun!  EBay paid $1.2 billion for Gmarket (a Korean EBay), Harris Corp paid $675 million for Tyco Electronic wireless division and Tech Mahindra paid $422 million for Satyam. 

In April 2010 HP paid $1.2 Billion in the somewhat surprising purchase of Palm; Twitter bought a couple of companies, Cloudhopper and Atebits.  Symantec also bought a couple of companies (PGP ($300 Million) and GuardianEdge ($70 Million).  Oracle paid $685 Million for Phase Forward, Juniper paid about $100 Million for Ankeena Networks and Salesforce bought Jigsaw for $142 Million. 

Two years ago in April 2011 Texas Instruments bought National Semiconductor for $6.5 billion, Level 3 Communications paid $3 Billion for Global Crossing, Lawson Software was sold for $2 Billion to GGC Software Holdings (an Infor company) and Seagate bought the hard disk drive operations of Samsung to become one of the two largest players in that space. 

Last year in April 2012 Facebook made a $1 billion bid for Instagram, Facebook also bought a piece of the patent action from Microsoft after Microsoft had paid AOL more than $1 billion for the patents.  DELL made three acquisitions this month, Wyse technology, Clerity Solutions and Make Technologies.  IBM picked up Toronto based BI company Varicent Software; Intel paid $140 million for some assets from Cray; Citrix picked up Podio; and Twitter bought a startup to acquire its team of developers.

Which brings us back to the present …

April 2013 saw some interesting M&A activity with Rogers paying $200 million for Primus’s Blackiron subsidiary, including datacenter capability; Toronto based Softchoice also chose to go private in a $412 million private equity deal; Shaw paid $225 million for an Enmax fibre network subsidiary in Calgary; Best Buy sold its stake in Carphone Warehouse for $775 million (having paid $2.1 billion in 2008).  Google has spent $291 million on acquisitions in the first quarter including a $30 million purchase of social company Wavii.  Oter big names on the acquisition trail this month include Intel (Mashery), IBM (Urbancode); Computer Associates (Nolio).  Finally Facebook had a couple of small acquisitions Osmeta and Parse.

In other news this month Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker program received some bad press and subsequent changes, Ray Lane stepped down from HP’s board and IBM is investing $1 billion in flash data technology.  PC shipments were down more than 11% year over year, smartphones however are up 30% with Samsung enjoying good growth.  China was identified as the number one source of malicious computer attacks with the US second.

The economic indicators were mixed, with confidence up in Canada despite an increase in the unemployment rate and lost jobs.  There were a number of positive indicators out of the US including increases in jobs, GDP, CEO confidence and the leading economic index.  E&Y also suggested 90% of US executives viewed the global economy as improved or stable.

That is it for my look at what was happening in the technology space over the last month, compared to the same month in previous years.  I’ll be back at the end of May, until then … walk fast and smile!