December 27, 2013

Apple secretly makes two technology acquisitions

Did Apple secretly buy two firms when nobody was watching? It seems increasingly likely, according to a recent report by Red Orbit.

The first company, BroadMap, specializes in broadband mapping and Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. The news source reported that Apple sought this company to help improve its Maps app on iOS and desktop computers.

Initial reports have been convoluted, however, due in part to activity on BroadMap's Twitter feed. First, the company tweeted that it had not, in fact, been acquired. Shortly thereafter, the tweet was taken down.

What is known is that a number of BroadMap employees have already joined Apple. Meanwhile, Apple has reportedly purchased BroadMap's intellectual property but licensed it back, to allow the startup to continue working with its present clients.

The second company, Catch, is a web-based note taking service that already has an iOS and Android app. Those services will be shut down, however, according to an announcement the company made several months ago. It is suspected that aspects of these services will soon resurface as part of future versions of the iOS operating system.

Apple has been on a buying spree lately in an effort to compete with an increasingly popular Android operating system. Some of these technology acquisitions have been made more publicly than others. This is a decision that many companies make, depending on whether they think the publicity will benefit the deal.

How a business pursues such a strategy is not always a simple decision. This is an area where a mergers and acquisitions firm can offer expertise.