Microsoft’s spurned advances toward Yahoo — an incredibly generous offer that could only have been rejected out of raw, bilious contempt — got me thinking about possible mergers and acquisitions in the industry.
Which couplings make sense, and which don’t?
The mentioned Microsoft / Yahoo union, for instance, would be a terrible partnership with almost no merit beyond maybe giving short-term legitimacy to Microsoft’s online efforts, temporarily hushing the naysayers.
A Google and Yahoo partnership makes just as little sense.
Of the mergers that would yield more than a fraction of the sum of the parts, one that just won’t stop buzzing loudly in my brain, is one that my subconscious has just assumed as inevitable– a Sony/Apple merger.
By today’s market capitalization numbers, it would actually bean acquisition of Sony (worth approximately $42 billion today) by Apple (worth a hard to believe $150+ billion), which really is extraordinary to consider.
How could Apple, supplying a small segment of the computer market, along with a couple of portable electronics devices, dwarf the global electronics giant Sony?
It seems incredible, but it’s true.
Apple should cement some of that market capitalization with a merger (a polite acquisition) of Sony.
The synergies possible between these two companies are absolutely incredible, giving Apple a significant presence in the entire consumer electronics spectrum (a huge potential world-wide market for services like iTunes), while gaining industry leading engineering and fabrication capacity.
They’d even have a Windows-equipped PC division, as hilarious as that would be. They’d have a whole media division, including movies and music, including the Gracenotes catalog that was snatched by Sony.
It goes on and on. The more I contemplate how each company could use the other, the more inevitable such a pairing seems.
The only conceivable negative for such a merger would be the infamous distaste Japanese companies have for foreign control (you lose some value when all of the executives jump out windows in dishonor). A polite “merger of equals” would probably be the only tenable option.
If such a merger came to pass, it would be a very bad day to own Microsoft stock.