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M&A Episode 3: Tech giants of Silicon Valley

Welcome to the Silicon Valley.

The tech industry is an ever-changing, ever-evolving industry where changes take place so rapidly, and trends disappear so fast that in a blink, you could go obsolete. Hence, this industry is one big bubbling pot into which all kinds of mergers, acquisitions, partnerships, tie-ups, and takeovers get tossed in. Name it; they have it.

The tech industry demands more innovation and improvement than most industries. Companies are continually coming up with new ideas and products to make life more convenient for the consumer. And they are constantly updating these products.

Someday, you could be trying out the iPhone 1001.

You can’t talk about the tech sector without taking the names of the big guns that rule it — Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOGL), Microsoft (MSFT), Facebook (FB), and Amazon (AMZN). (Yeah, Amazon is everywhere these days.)

Apple has acquired plenty of smaller companies, and over the past two years, its primary areas of focus have been augmented reality, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Trust me, AI and machine learning are no joke. These point to a future where robots could pervade everyday human life. Let’s hope it’s not a Skynet-type of future.

Apple recently bought Shazam, the owner of an app which can identify songs, movies, and TV shows. However, what caused a flutter was the speculation that Apple could, and maybe should buy Netflix. It appeared to be logical concerning assets and value.

Last year some analysts even suggested that Apple could perhaps look at acquiring Disney. That seems a bit far-fetched. Disney is a mega entity in itself, why would they want to be acquired?

Anyway, recently Apple put these rumors to rest by saying it wasn’t looking to acquire these two companies but instead wanted to focus on smaller acquisitions.

Google’s parent Alphabet has also made several acquisitions, and these are said to be primarily in the area of Artificial Intelligence. (Told you, AI is booming.)

Facebook and Microsoft are also doing their bit in the M&A space, the latter having made a good bet on LinkedIn two years ago. Things seem to be running smoothly in the Microsoft-LinkedIn household for now, and both parties seem optimistic about a “happily ever after.” Good for them.

Now let’s talk about Amazon. The ecommerce giant is investing a lot in machine learning and AI. It has made many acquisitions from Thinkbox to Body Labs. Amazon Web Services is growing well, and it is a force to be reckoned with.

Meanwhile, Qualcomm was desperately trying to fight off advances made by Broadcom for a takeover while the latter seemed pretty convinced that it was as eligible as a suitor can be. This went on until President Trump stepped in and blocked the whole merger plan. That finally put a stop to Broadcom’s plans, and the next turn of events are yet to unfold.

Notable mergers and acquisitions in the technology sector
Notable M&As in the tech sector

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