Rumored Google Target Rearden Plans Merger, Mobile News

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2008-07-25 Print this article Print

Rearden Commerce, the Web concierge service that makes it easier for working stiffs all around the world to book travel arrangements, rent cars and buy theater tickets, is set to announce a "business-service-related" acquisition and a new mobile service soon.

The news was supposed to drop Monday, but got squelched because "there is more 'stuff' brewing that we want to get in line," the company told me. Why mention this here in Google Watch?

Some of you will recall this feature on Rearden I published back in May, where sources said they believed Google is gunning for the company. The speculation continues today. Could Google be making a play for the company? Is that why Rearden is holding off?

Moreover, what business service did Rearden buy? Does anyone want to guess?

As for the mobile service, here's my crack at it: Rearden launched the Mobile Personal Assistant back in May, a service that lets business travelers access Rearden from their BlackBerry smart phones. I believe Rearden is announcing Mobile Personal Assistant support for the iPhone soon.

iPhone is the hottest mobile gadget on the planet, a position Apple solidified with the July 11 release of iPhone 3G. Web service providers such as Rearden would be foolish not to support it and miss out on all that hot iPhone action. What's so exciting about this?

Well, if Rearden is supporting iPhone, it cements the gadget's status as a viable utility for professionals, which will make the smart phone a no-brainer for enterprises. Soon, companies will start equipping their workers with iPhones instead of BlackBerrys or Treos. |

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