Tech Titans in Buying Mode
May 4th, 2010 By: John Rath
In a recent interview, investor Warren Buffett said the economy “is beginning to show real signs of strength,” citing increased consumer spending. The Oracle of Omaha has been wary of the tech sector in the past, but it’s hard to miss the signs of confidence in recent investments by major technology companies.
Google and Apple have dominated headlines recently, with Apple buying semiconductor business Intrinsity for $120 million and App company Siri a day later. Bloomberg has an analysis of Apple’s accelerating rate of acquisitions.
While Google waits to hear the fate of its AdMob acquisition, it snapped up Agnilux, LabPixies and Bumptop. As all of the headlines read today, Google threw $38.8 million to the wind today, by investing in a NextEra Energy Resources wind farm in North Dakota. They also took the wraps off Google Ventures, their venture capital arm. Continuing the push for control in the mobile market, Google Ventures announced it is investing in startup company Corduro, which provides a mobile payment platform. Google Ventures has also invested in Silver Spring Networks, a smart grid solutions provider who recently the headline sponsor at GreenNet 2010.
The biggest announcement last week was Hewlett Packard acquiring Palm for $1.2 billion. “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,” said Todd Bradley, executive vice president, Personal Systems Group, HP. The transaction is expected to close during HP’s third quarter and is subject to regulatory approvals and approval of Palm’s stockholders.
On Monday Intel Capital announced three U.S. based investments totaling $15 million. The deals include elder care website Caring.com, real estate investment ratings provider SmartZip Analytics and infrastructure services provider Virtustream. Funding for the investments came from the $200 million Intel Capital Invest in America Technology Fund.
Previously announced acquisitions were completed on Monday as well with Equinix acquiring Switch and Data for $689 million and CDN provider Limelight acquiring EyeWonder, Inc. Other signs of economic vigor include the $300 million Oracle Utah project resuming and the nearly lo$800 million in cash that Digital Realty Trust has assembled to continue shopping for data center acquisitions.