A little history of March in previous years …
Five years ago, in March 2009 Google was in the news for creating a $ 100 million hedge fund. Bell Canada bought “The Source” and the breakup of BearingPoint, after Chapter 11, benefited Deloitte and PwC, among others around the world.
March 2010 saw a continuation of the economic recovery. It was a quiet month for M&A activity with CA buying both 3Tera for around $ 90 million and Nimsoft for $ 350 million. Chordiant was bought by Pegasytems for just over $ 160 million, and the other notable deal was Avnet’s purchase of Bell Microproducts for $ 340 million.
Three years ago, in March 2011 World events included the earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent Japan nuclear problems. The big tech event of the month was AT & T’s announcement of a $ 39 billion deal to buy T-Mobile … which then fell through, costing AT&T a $ 4 billion reputation. While there were no other mega deals of this nature, it was quite a busy month in the world of mergers and acquisitions. The Montreal Radian6 was purchased by Salesforce.com for about $ 276 million; Facebook made a couple of acquisitions in the Snaptu and Beluga mobile space; YouTube paid about $ 50 million for Next New Networks; McAfee bought database security firm Sentrigo; Cisco bought portal company newScale; Teradata bought data analytics startup Aster data … a continuation of consolidation in the hot data space; and OpenText bought a mobile app development tool provider WeComm.
On March 2012 There was some activity with a couple of (then) young companies receiving significant capital Appirio ($ 60 million) and Hootsuite ($ 20 million). Cisco made a couple of acquisitions, paying a whopping $ 5 billion for video software and content company NDS Group, in addition to a smaller network management purchase, ClearAccess. NEC paid $ 450 million for Convergys’ information management business and Avaya paid $ 230 million for an Israeli telepresence and video conferencing company Radvision. Other companies in the process of acquisition were DELL, EMC, SafeNet, Avnet and The Utility Company. Ultimately, SAIC agreed to pay nearly $ 500 million to New York City in connection with the charges it overbilled and paid bribes!
Last year, in March 2013 some of the “regulars” were making acquisitions, but no multi-billion dollar deals were announced. Oracle continued its move into the telecommunications space with the purchase of Tekelec; Google bought a small company DNNresearch based at the University of Toronto in the machine learning vertical; Microsoft sold the Atlas Advertiser Suite to Facebook; and Yahoo bought Summly. Microsoft had some difficulties in the EU, having to pay a $ 732 million antitrust fine related to Internet Explorer and Evernote suffered a security breach that affected 50 million users.
What brings us back to the present …
March 2014 It was not a banner month for acquisitions, but there was great business with Facebook making a somewhat surprising $ 2 billion acquisition of virtual reality company Oculus VR. Intel also broadened its horizons with the $ 150 million acquisition of smartwatch maker Basis Science. Some other interesting moves saw a good investment in the “big data” company Cloudera with the participation of Google (as part of an investment consortium) and Intel. SAP was added to its purchasing software suite with the acquisition of Fieldglass and Telus made a couple of purchases, Enode, a Quebec management consulting firm, and Med Access, an addition, in British Columbia, to its care division. medical. There were a few other smaller deals, in addition to Embarcadero purchasing ERwinDate Modeling software from CA.
Aside from M&A activity, there were several companies that made the news, and not all for good! The sale of IBM servers to Lenovo has created some major labor problems in China, Google was ordered to pay SimpleAir $ 85 million for patent infringement and NetApp announced that it was laying off nearly 5% of its workforce, which represents 600 jobs. A couple of Bitcoin exchanges had serious problems with Mt.Gox “losing” $ 500 million in bitcoins and Vicurex freezing all of their accounts after a serious attack. In March, at notable “people events”, Target’s CIO, Beth Jacob, resigned in response to the recent major data breach and Symantec fired its CEO, Steve Bennett.
The economic news was “tepid” at best in Canada, with the unemployment rate unchanged and the indicators overall “blah” (that’s one of my best economic terms). However, the indicators in the US were generally positive, with GDP growth, several promising confidence indices, and an outlook for increased hiring.
That’s it for my look at what was happening in the tech space over the last month, compared to the same month in previous years. I’ll be back at the end of April, until then … walk fast and smile!