Acquisition Roundup: Apple: Siri, HP:Palm, DST:ICQ, Google:LabPixies


Acquisition Roundup: Apple: Siri, HP:Palm, DST:ICQ, Google:LabPixies

Its M&A season in Silicon Valley and here is a roundup of who acquired whom.

Apple acquires Virtual Assistant Startup, Siri

Siri, a startup in Virtual Personal Assistant space has been lapped up by Apple.

Siri is the first mainstream consumer mobile application to behave like a Virtual Personal Assistant. It focuses on mobile internet, where an intelligent interface can help people get things done that would otherwise be cumbersome or impractical using the link-following paradigm i.e. typical search technology model. For example, in a single spoken utterance the user can ask the assistant to find a nearby restaurant satisfying personal preferences and make table reservations online for a given time. In the traditional paradigm this task would require traversing many links and pages — and accessing multiple accounts — making it impractical in a mobile situation.

Siri - Virtual Personal Assistant
Siri - Virtual Personal Assistant

AOL Sells ICQ to DST

AOL has sold ICQ to DST, Digital Sky Technologies Limited, a Russian Internet company.

ICQ was created in 1996 by the Israeli company Mirabilis. AOL acquired the assets of Mirabilis, primarily ICQ, in June 1998. Available in 16 languages, ICQ has more than 32 million unique visitors per month.* Approximately 80 percent of ICQ users are between the ages of 13 and 29 and spend an average of more than five hours a day connected to the service, according to internal data. ICQ has built a successful presence in markets like Russia, Germany, Czech Republic and Israel.

“The acquisition of ICQ is a strategic enhancement of our business in Russia and Eastern Europe. ICQ’s long-standing brand name and its sizeable loyal customer base together represent a very attractive opportunity to further strengthen our position in the region,” said Yuri Milner, Chief Executive Officer of DST. – source

Also, AOL is planning to pull the plug on Bebo.

Google Acquires LabPixies

Google has acquired LabPixies, Israel based startup that developes apps for iGoogle.

One of the first developers to create gadgets for iGoogle was Labpixies. Over the years, we worked closely together on a variety of projects, including the launch of a number of global OpenSocial based gadgets. Recently, we decided that we could do more if we were part of the same team, and as such, we’re thrilled to announce the acquisition of Labpixies.
The team will be based in our ever-growing Tel Aviv office and will anchor our iGoogle efforts across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. We are looking forward to working with Labpixies to develop great web apps and leverage their knowledge and expertise to help developers and improve the ecosystem overall. – source

HP Acquires Palm for $1.2Bn

HP has acquired Palm for $1.2Bn and will focus on building on Palm’s WebOS [via]. HP also acquired 3Com recently, which happens to be the previous owner of Palm.

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