Patent power (part 2) – Google buys Motorola Mobility

Today’s big news is Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility. What is fascinating is the logic for the deal. This is not a deal driven by customers or operating synergies – it is all about Motorola’s patents. The give-away is the final paragraph of Google’s announcement: “We recently explained how companies including Microsoft and Apple are banding … Read more

Visa adds mobile payment and banking capabilities, as Google and MNOs launch contactless payment services

This week Visa Inc added significant incremental mobile payment and banking capabilities – acquiring Fundamo, a mobile money transfer software company and announcing a five year deal with Monitise. The Fundamo deal is designed to bolster Visa’s position in developing markets where the mobile operators are increasingly able to leverage the lack of a traditional banking infrastructure and their … Read more

Microsoft buys Skype: comparison with eBay deal logic

The big story yesterday was the acquisition of Skype by Microsoft for $8.5 billion. It was only 6 years ago that eBay bought Skype for $ 2.6 billion. I thought it would be interesting to compare and contrast the publicly announced rationales for the deals. First, here is Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer yesterday: “Skype is … Read more

RIM and Google compete to acquire Nortel’s patents

Readers with long memories will remember Nortel’s glory days of the 1990s, when it expanded rapidly by supplying equipment on the back of significant investment in competitive telecoms networks unleashed by the first wave of telecoms market liberalisation. It was badly hit by the dot.com crash, but managed to struggle through the noughties before filing for creditor protection … Read more

FCC approves nine White Space Database Adminstrators

In some areas, it seems that Europe is always following the US. One of those areas is white space cognitive radio.  Whilst European and UK regulators seem content for the process to proceed at a leisurely pace, the Federal Communications Commission has recently provisionally approved nine white space database administrators for the TV band in the US. The approved … Read more

And the killer application for 2011 is …

I’m very excited to have had my first re-tweet, so today’s post develops the thought further. The retweet was of an economist article which, in contrast to the emerging consensus that traditional telephone calls are dead quotes a recent Ofcom international research report as evidence that whilst fixed line volumes are declining across the world, … Read more