These are three hypothetical acquisitions that would change the mobile landscape in particular in 2010. I’ve been ruminating on the rationale for these large acquisitions for a bit and finally decided to post them. They are nothing more than idle conjecture and will likely never happen, but the implications would be dramatic.
Google acquires eBay for Paypal, and spins out eBay.com out a separate company – Realizing that payments are adjacent for some businesses like AdWords and Search, and essential for Android to cultivate a vibrant developer community, Google acquires eBay. They keep Paypal to run payments, but spin eBay since it’s a non-core entity. The antifraud infrastructure, brand name and payments platform could be enormously valuable.
Of note, the recent Facebook/Paypal partnership makes this scenario a bit more complicated. In all likelihood, Facebook realized that Paypal antifraud technologies were essential to their payment platform’s success
Microsoft acquires RIM/Blackberry – Given Microsoft’s relative failure at exploiting the web, Ballmer decides that mobile is a key battleground with Google. Seeing Windows Mobile struggle in terms of scale to the two new behemoths in the market, Apple and Google, MSFT acquires RIM for their 27M subscriber base and complementary customer base and similar architecture. Combining the Exchange platform with the Blackberry Enterprise Server is a natural move and one that could see the propagation Office, the most profitable product across mobile.
HP acquires Palm – HP acquires Palm to bolster their mobile hardware offerings. Given the openness and beauty of the Palm OS development platform, HP continues to support Palm OS in combination with Android, while leveraging the mobile hardware development expertise and relationships with carriers to broaden their consumer mobile and tablet offerings.
The likelihood for the completion any of these transaction is de minimus given the complexity in such large combinations of assets, but it’s fun to speculate. Let me know what you think. I’m curious how much synergy others see in these combinations.