And Tomorrow’s Buyer of Akamai Is…

October 13th, 2011 by · Leave a Comment

Last week it was IBM and Verizon who were supposedly lining up to buy Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM, news, filings). Yesterday, it was Google that was about to pull the trigger driving the stock price up 17%.  Next week perhaps it will be Cisco and Alcatel-Lucent dueling for the bidder's chair?  And let's pencil in Microsoft for Halloween, yes?  Sheesh.

Don't get me wrong, I *love* M&A speculation. But lately the only criteria traders and analysts have been checking is who can afford it, regardless of any actual strategic fit or grand design, let alone a bit of common sense.  Akamai's stock is cheap at this moment in time, so they must be ready to sell at the bottom?

Google is not going to buy Akamai, and you don't need a Bloomberg source to tell you that.  Unlike Cisco prior to this year which was buying everything that wasn't nailed down and a few that were, Google has actually never been the inorganic growth type.  They buy for new technologies and the talent underlying them, they buy patents and whatever else is stuck to them, and they buy entries into markets they think they need more influence in.

Akamai doesn't check any of those boxes.  Google already handles its own content delivery needs internally and influences the CDN space dramatically as it is, and it isn't clear that Google has any need for CDN patents at this time.

It's the same disconnect that comes up when Google is rumored to be about to buy a fiber network (insert your favorite target here). They already operate their own fiber network that serves their needs, there's just no reason to enter it as a wholesale or retail provider. The same goes for CDN, and even more so given that the revenues of the entire CDN sector would fit in their petty cash drawer.

Hmmph, I guess if one wants M&A speculation one can sink one's teeth into, one has to do it oneself.  More on that in a few days perhaps...

Categories: Content Distribution · Mergers and Acquisitions

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