Apple was interested in acquiring Palm before HP sealed the deal

Thu, Jul 15, 2010

Finance, News

Dan Frommer of Business Insider sheds some light on some of the other tech companies who considered making a play for Palm, who were ultimately acquired by HP for a cool $1.2 billion. Notably, and quite surprisingly, Apple was strongly considering a Palm buyout before the HP deal eventually went down.

Citing a source familiar with the negotiations, Frommer writes:

  • Apple was mostly interested in Palm’s huge library of intellectual property and patents… And unlike some other bidders, Apple even seemed committed to funding Palm’s operations, perhaps to challenge RIM’s dominance in the keyboarded segment of the smartphone industry, our source says. (There’s a bunch of problems with this idea, such as the idea of Apple supporting two rival app platforms, but that’s what this person says.) Ultimately, Apple didn’t bid high enough, while HP offered an amount the board couldn’t say no to. (Recall that Steve Jobs tried to buy Palm years ago in its first life, too, when it was owned by 3Com.)
  • RIM basically had the deal in its hands and “had to work incredibly hard to blow it,” our source recalls. RIM initially came in higher than HP, but HP upped its bid, our source says.
  • Google, likely interested in Palm’s intellectual property, supposedly only wanted it because Google thought Apple might want it. But Google supposedly didn’t know Apple was actually bidding for Palm, so it didn’t proceed.

Oh the soap opera that is Silicon Valley.


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