Business never healthier?

A lot of mergers and acquisitions when the acquired companies aren’t in serious trouble is strongly correlated with a healthy market, right? I thought that was conventional wisdom amongst economists.

Even as the financial sector and the meeja are crying meltdown, the tech sector is forging ahead. A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the two big deals in a day: Sun/MySQL and Oracle/BEA. Since then we’ve had another two smaller but nevertheless substantial takeovers: Nokia’s of TrollTech, and SpringSource’s of Covalent. And today, the biggest potential deal of the season to date, with Microsoft’s bid for Yahoo. The evident health of the tech sector is a sharp contrast to gloom and doom elsewhere.

I don’t think I can bring any great new insights to the deals. They’re all important in their own ways. TrollTech because of Qt: possibly a little troubling, in that the commitment to the GPL doesn’t seem to preclude a fork and a two-track future. Covalent less so for two reasons: it seems most unlikely that SpringSource would reduce commitment to Apache, and even if they did, Apache is a much broader community. And MS/Yahoo … obviously an attempt to rival Google, but I’ll be somewhat surprised if they succeed, at least if they try to challenge them head-on.

Posted on February 1, 2008, in free software, open source. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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