Rather than letting its cash just sit around growing mold, just about every major tech company made big acquisitions last year.
However! Not every company made a smart acquisition.
What’s a smart acquisition? Generally speaking, it’s the right company at the right price, bringing in technology or talent to improve your core product.
10. HP’s Palm acquisition could be brilliant …
9. Groupon’s acquisition of CityDeal was one of the best it made last year, says CEO Andrew Mason
Image: The DEMO Conference/Flickr
Groupon is very active on the M&A front. When we asked CEO Andrew Mason which of the many startups they’ve bought stood out he answered CityDeal. Why? “We picked up some of the most talented entrepreneurs I’ve ever met.”
8. AOL’s acquisition of Thing Labs is just what it needed to breathe life into AIM
One of AOL’s (NYSE:AOL) most valuable products is also one of its most neglected. AIM has languished over the years. Thing Labs was brought in to freshen it up. Since AOL probably didn’t pay much, we think it is a pretty smart deal.
7. Google’s purchase of BumpTop looks like it’s already paying off
BumpTop made 3D interfaces for desktop computing. Based on what we’ve seen from the Android tablet running Honeycomb, it looks like the technology is already paying off for Google (NASDAQ:GOOG).
6. AOL buying TechCrunch is the exact right move
AOL (NYSE:AOL) wants to become the Time Inc. of the 21st century. Buying TechCrunch is a smart way to achieve that goal. TechCrunch is one of the best tech blogs in the world.
5. Amazon bought its competition by getting Diapers.com
BusinessWeek wrote a big feature about Diapers.com with the headline “What Amazon Fears Most: Diapers.” A few weeks later Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) bought Diapers.com. So what’s it scared of now?
4. Microsoft’s acquisition of Canesta was a smart defensive move
Image: Associated Press
Kinect is arguably the most exciting product to come out of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) in a long time. To protect itself, Microsoft bought Canesta, a small Silicon Valley company armed with patents related to motion based technology.We also hear the Canesta technology is great and it will make the next version of Kinect even better.
3. Google closed the AdMob deal and solidified its mobile ad lead
Yes, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) lost many of the employees at AdMob. And yes, Google overpaid for AdMob to keep it away from Apple. But, so what? It gained one of the most important mobile display companies in the world.
2. Twitter bought Atebits and brought in a great designer
Image: Mac App Store screenshot
Twitter’s decision to buy Loren Brichter’s Atebits, helped make its iPhone, iPad, and Mac (NASDAQ:AAPL) applications world class. Before it brought Brichter on board it didn’t even have an official iPhone app.
1. RIM’s acquisition of QNX is the reason people are optimistic about the PlayBook
Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) bought QNX, a software division of Harman International, in April. The QNX team is already making a huge impact creating software for RIM’s PlayBook tablet, which looks promising. QNX is also platform of the future for the BlackBerry phone lineup.
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