Apple Spends $356 Million To Acquire Mobile Security Firm AuthenTec
In what looks to be a smart move, Apple has acquired mobile security firm AuthenTec for $356 Million. Apple has paid a premium of 58% for the Florida-based company in order to make it a wholly owned subsidiary. AuthenTec is known for its security software that it licenses to Samsung as well as fingerprint sensor technology that is used by the likes of HP and Dell. So on top of increasing Apples mobile security, the acquisition gives them access to all of the firm's security related patents. These patents have an annual revenue of roughly $70 million alone and counts companies such as Lenovo and Fujitsu as users of said patents. There is of course still a chance for rival bidders to force up prices, however AuthenTec may only consider unsolicited bids. This means the company cannot actively shop around for a better offer. Of course that may not stop Google or Samsung from issuing a bid, if not for the technology and patents than at least to force a higher bid from Apple. That said, the rival bid will need to be a good one, as should the deal be terminated due to antitrust issues Apple will have to shell out a cool $20 Million to AuthenTec, but should AuthenTec go for a higher rival bid they will need to cough up $10.95 Million to Apple. So should the deal go through, Samsung may be looking for a new VPN provider for it's products as they just signed a deal with AuthenTec a short while ago according to PCWorld.
Apple has also acquired the right to pay the company to license certain patents totaling as much as $115 million. It will also pay AuthenTec $7.5 million for some product development work. The exact nature of the work was not disclosed but the agreement filed with regulators hinted at the development of "a 2D fingerprint sensor for Apple that is suitable for use in an Apple product." Some analysts expect the next version of the iPhone to include some form of mobile payments technology. Apple will debut in the fall its "Passbook" software, a mobile app for storing tickets, coupons and loyalty cards. Passbook marks Apple's entry in the mobile payment space, an area that requires top-notch embedded security.
Posted by | Sat, Jul 28, 2012 - 04:02 PM