10 Intriguing but Unlikely Mergers of IT Giants

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10 Intriguing but Unlikely Mergers of IT Giants

by Don Reisinger

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Microsoft and Yahoo

When Microsoft first announced that it wanted to acquire Yahoo a few years back, the tech industry erupted. Unfortunately for Microsoft, Yahoo declined every overture. And in the process, the company had to settle for a search partnership. But a merger between the two companies still might make the most sense. Yahoo is a bloated company that's trying desperately to shed the fat. Microsoft needs a strong Web presence. A merger between the two companies would help them achieve their mutual goals.

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Google and Facebook

Google and Facebook might not seem like the most obvious merger candidates, but such a blockbuster Web merger could send shockwaves through the industry. By adding Facebook to its portfolio of Web services, Google can finally ditch Google Buzz, its ill-fated social network, and start capitalizing heavily on the advertising opportunities that come with Facebook. Facebook could benefit from a merger deal with Google for one key reason: Google has extremely valuable shares. And taking Google's stock over an IPO is always a better option for any IT tech startup.

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HP and Dell

Although HP and Dell have been arch rivals for years, things are changing in the computing market. Currently, HP is the world's top PC manufacturer, but with Acer coming on strong, that could end sooner than some might think. Meanwhile, Dell is continuing to lose its position in the space with poor strategies that aren't helping it catch up. A merger between the two companies could keep Acer at bay and create one major PC manufacturer to best them all. It seems like a win-win for both companies, doesn't it?

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T-Mobile and Sprint

There might be four major mobile phone carriers in the United States, but only two—Verizon Wireless and AT&T—get the attention. Realizing that, maybe T-Mobile and Sprint should consider a merger. A combined Sprint-T-Mobile would not only boost the company's position in the market, it could also help both firms attract better phones. It's no coincidence that Apple is available to AT&T customers and the HTC Droid Incredible came to Verizon Wireless. If Sprint and T-Mobile want to find a way to attract more customers and better phones, a merger isn't such a bad idea.

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Google and Zoho

A Google buyout of privately held Zoho that would combine the efforts of both companies in the online office-productivity space sounds like a good idea. Currently, Zoho delivers services that, in some cases, are actually better than those available in Google Docs. If Google can acquire Zoho and merge the two services, it could significantly increase its chances of competing with an offline Microsoft Office. Its worth considering for Google.

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Facebook and Twitter

The chances of Facebook and Twitter merging are extremely slim. But that doesn't mean that it wouldn't be one of the greatest mergers in Web history. A combined Facebook and Twitter would perhaps create the single most popular Website in the world. And with that many users, Facebook could use its advertising efforts to monetize both sites far more effectively than they've been able to generate revenue separately. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of such a merger is the possibility of combining elements of both sites into the other. A merger between Facebook and Twitter would be one to watch, to say the least.

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Pandora and Last.FM

A merger between Pandora and Last.FM, two of the most popular online music-streaming services, might not seem like an obvious one, but it might make some sense. Recently, Apple acquired Lala. And although the company took the music-streaming site down, there is speculation that it will make a triumphant return to take down all competitors. If Pandora and Last.FM merge before that can happen, the company can combine Last.FM's social elements and Pandora's music-recommendation service to create an ideal music juggernaut to compete with Apple's service. Simply put, its's about survival for Pandora and Last.FM.

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Google and HTC

In the mobile market, Google is trying to be Microsoft-esque by offering its software to hardware vendors. That alone might make some wonder why the company should merge its mobile division with HTC. But further inspection of Google's mobile strategy reveals that it's already giving HTC preferential treatment with the Nexus One. A merger between the two companies would give Google the hardware arm it needs to more effectively control how it competes with the iPhone. It's also worth noting that it doesn't change Google's ability to offer Android OS to other phone makers.

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Yahoo and AOL

Yahoo could make another showing in the merger market with AOL. The two Web giants have more to offer together than they do apart. Both firms are trying to deliver more content to Web users. They're also trying to bolster their editorial efforts. All the while, they have their messenger products, Yahoo Web Messenger and AOL Instant Messenger, which are still widely used on the Internet. A merger would help both companies bolster the content they offer and give them much-needed traffic to increase revenue. One word of caution: Yahoo should get the better part of this deal. AOL has proven time and again that it can't deliver a return-on-investment the way its past owners had hoped.

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Acer and Asus

Acer and Asus are two of the most innovative companies in the PC market when it comes to computer design and willingness to try new things. That's precisely why both companies would probably do quite well together. Asus could supply Acer with some of its PC component technology and help bolster the company's mobile offerings. Acer would offer the name-recognition and relevance that Asus desperately needs. Such a merger probably won't capture the headlines like some others would, but rest assured that it would put the competition on notice.

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