“Buyouts have always been the primary exit strategy for high-tech startups – even before the IPO market dried up – and the tech giants that can make them happen seem to have both the wherewithal and the appetite. Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer has already said he plans to buy 20 companies a year for the next half-decade. Google, which never saw a cool new idea it didn’t love, has snapped up almost three dozen companies in the past three years and has billions left to spend. Even Apple’s Steve Jobs, a notorious tightwad, is under pressure to do something with the $15 billion war chest he’s accumulated,” Fortt reports.
MacDailyNews Note: Apple has $9.162 billion in cash and cash equivalents and $9,286 in short-term investments. There are more assets, of course, but those alone add up to over $18.5 billion. Apple had $15.4 billion in the same columns on September 29, 2007. In 90 days, they added $3.1 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments. But, “everyone sell,” Apple has no future.
“With that in mind, we picked the brains of our favorite analysts, touched base with a few Valley wise men, threw in a dash of guesswork, and came up with a shopping list for the three tech power players with the most cash sitting in the bank,” Fortt reports.
“Steve Jobs is almost aggressively unacquisitive. While Apple occasionally buys some innovative software or hardware from a startup, there’s no record of his buying any companies outright since 2002. But here’s a bet that could polish his company’s image: Green Plug, an outfit that promises to save energy while solving the perennial problem of the power adapter. Green Plug’s computer-on-a-chip technology adjusts to whatever device it’s connected to, allowing a single power cord to charge, say, a MacBook, an iPod, and an iPhone. If Apple were to adopt this new plug system – as it did earlier with FireWire and USB – and it caught on as an industry standard, we wouldn’t have to throw out our old transformers whenever we buy a new electronic toy,” Fortt reports.
“Apple might also take a look at Move Networks, a company whose technology has become Hollywood’s favorite way to stream and manage high-definition content. Apple is moving aggressively to expand its digital video offerings on the iTunes Store, and although it already controls several leading video standards through its family of QuickTime products, Move’s system would allow it to take several important steps forward. Not only does Move deliver high-quality video faster, but it also offers content publishers a way to keep track of how many viewers are watching and for how long – something that will be necessary if anybody is going to make money putting digital video online,” Fortt reports.
More in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]