In the world of tech, mergers and acquisitions are a common occurrence, but some deals stand out among the rest. These are the most expensive tech acquisitions that have ever taken place in history. And now, Salesforce's acquisition of Slack for $27.7 billion has made it onto this illustrious list.
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff called the purchase of the workplace messaging app a "match made in heaven" as the two companies aim to capitalize on the growing demand for enterprise software in an all-digital work-from-anywhere world. The acquisition will allow Salesforce to combine its customer relationship management (CRM) software with Slack's cloud-based messaging platform, creating a powerful tool for businesses to connect and collaborate with their teams.
This chart shows how Salesforce's acquisition of Slack stacks up against some of tech's largest acquisitions, including LinkedIn's $26.2 billion sale to Microsoft and Google's multi-billion dollar deal with EMC Corporation. With this purchase, Salesforce has firmly cemented its position as one of the biggest players in the industry and set itself up for success in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.
Google Takes Over Fitbit in Multi-Billion Dollar Deal
Tech giant Google has acquired fitness tracker favorite Fitbit in a multi-billion dollar deal. This acquisition deal opens doors for Google to start producing company-branded smartwatch with the help of Fitbit's technology and expertise. The acquisition brings 29 million active users who wear Fitbit health-tracking devices, making it one of the most expensive tech acquisitions in recent times.
Apple Acquires Beats by Dre: What You Need to Know
Apple's decision to buy Beats by Dre for $3 billion was an expensive acquisition that left many in the tech industry surprised. Despite being one of the most expensive deals in history, it was still cheaper than some of the cheapest deals made by tech giant Microsoft and Apple themselves. However, when compared to Apple's other acquisitions, this move may seem positively frugal as the company has made dozens of billion-dollar mark purchases since the late 80s. Nevertheless, with the purchase of Beats, Apple has entered into a new market and gained access to a younger demographic with a strong interest in music and fashion.
Big News: Microsoft Takes Over Nuance for a Hefty Sum!
Big news in the tech world! Microsoft has made a hefty sum by buying Nuance, the Massachusetts-based company that supplies virtual assistant and speech-recognition technologies to hospitals, banks, retail businesses, and more. This acquisition underscores Microsoft's important priority to expand its reach in the enterprise software market including the lucrative healthcare sector AI. Buying Nuance was an urgent application for Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to enhance their capabilities and accelerate their growth in this field.
Salesforce Acquires MuleSoft in Multi-Billion Dollar Deal!
In 2018, Salesforce made plenty of noise in the tech world by acquiring MuleSoft for a multi-billion dollar price tag. This move by the enterprise software giant shows their focus on expanding their cloud-based apps and microservices play. CEO Marc Benioff has become one of the latest tech billionaires to make waves in the media world, acquiring Time Magazine through Meredith Corporation, but the MuleSoft acquisition solidifies Salesforce's position as a major player in the tech industry.
Major Partnership: Microsoft Acquires Skype
Microsoft's deal to acquire Skype was one of the most expensive tech acquisitions, as the tech giant closed a $8.5 billion deal to purchase the video chat service. This acquisition allowed Microsoft to expand its consumer app portfolio and increase its market share in the communication industry. With the word "Skype" being synonymous with internet calling, this partnership solidified Microsoft's position as a leader in online communication services.
Adobe seals $4.75 billion deal in Marketo acquisition
In October 2018, marketing automation software company Marketo closed a $4.75 billion deal with Adobe. The acquisition was made possible by Vista Equity Partners, the firm that owned Marketo at the time. This deal gave Adobe access to lead management marketing and revenue tools that would enhance its already popular Adobe Experience Cloud.
AMD Takes Over Xilinx with Billion-Dollar Deal!
October 2020 marked a major milestone in the tech world as AMD bought semiconductor company Xilinx for a whopping billion-dollar deal. This acquisition has allowed the chipmaker to compete more effectively in the data center market, where Xilinx was already well-established as a San Jose-based company producing field programmable gate array (FPGA) chips used in telecommunications, automotive, aerospace, and even the defense industry. Unlike general CPU processors, FPGAs don't rely on software instructions but instead use reconfigurable integrated circuits enabling lower latency and greater flexibility in processing data.
Avago Acquires Broadcom for $37 Billion
In November 2018, Avago Technologies announced that it was going to buy Broadcom for $37 billion, making it the biggest tech deal in history at that time. The combined chip company is now a semiconductor powerhouse with a portfolio of products that span wired and wireless communications, enterprise storage and industrial markets. This acquisition puts Avago in a stronger position to compete with other giants like Intel and Qualcomm. Additionally, Avago has also bought enterprise software company CA Technologies for $18.9 billion in an attempt to expand its offerings beyond hardware solutions.
Verizon's Big Acquisitions: AOL and Yahoo Purchase
Verizon made two big acquisitions in the tech industry: AOL and Yahoo. In 2015, Verizon began building its media arm by buying AOL, giving them a media portfolio including The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, and smaller blogs. This acquisition also included video platforms that helped Verizon compete against other telecommunications companies.
Combined with AOL, Verizon completed the purchase of Yahoo in late 2020. The original deal was for $4.8 billion but after data breach disclosures affecting over 3 billion accounts, Verizon dropped the purchase price to $4.48 billion. These acquisitions formed the precariously named media company called Oath which eventually became the Verizon Media Group. However, recently they sold HuffPoOpens to Buzzfeed indicating a shift in their strategy for their media portfolio.
Mistake by Microsoft: The Costly aQuantive Acquisition
Mistakes happen, even in the world of tech acquisitions. Microsoft, known for making some good deals in the past, made one of its worst deals when it decided to buy online ad network aQuantive during the Steve Ballmer era. The $6.3 billion acquisition turned out to be a massive loss for Microsoft, as it failed to compete with Google's AdWords and other digital advertising platforms. In fact, Microsoft wrote off nearly the entire value of the acquisition in 2012, making it one of the most expensive and regrettable mistakes in Microsoft deals history.
Microsoft Takes Over Nokia with Multi-Billion Dollar Deal
Microsoft's 2013 saddled and now infamous Nokia deal closed for a whopping $7.2 billion, making it one of the most expensive tech acquisitions in history. At the time, former CEO Steve Ballmer famously wrote a memo to employees stating that "we are playing perpetual catch-up" in the mobile ip space and that this acquisition would help them gain market share.
Under the leadership of Satya Nadella, Microsoft successfully shifted its focus to a more services-focused portfolio and away from the bygone era of do-it-all hardware. The Nokia deal allowed Microsoft to expand its mobile offerings with the Lumia line while also improving their cloud software and services capabilities. Unfortunately, shortly after the deal was announced, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop left and announced 7,800 job cuts. Despite being a doomed acquisition in hindsight, it is clear that Microsoft has learned from this experience and has continued to innovate with products like their successful Surface lineup.
Salesforce Acquires Slack: A Game-Changing Move!
Late in 2020, Salesforce made its biggest acquisition yet by purchasing the team messaging app Slack for a whopping $27.7 billion. This game-changing move allows Salesforce to combine Slack's operating system with their own CRM platform, creating an all-in-one tool for businesses. With this acquisition, Salesforce is now able to compete with Microsoft Teams and other major players in the team communication space.
Oracle Acquires PeopleSoft for $10.3 Billion
In 2004, Oracle made one of the most controversial and expensive tech acquisitions in history when they bought PeopleSoft, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software provider, for $10.3 billion. This deal marked the bitter end to months of hostile takeover attempts by Oracle's CEO Larry Ellison, ultimately leading to him taking control of PeopleSoft. Despite the contentious acquisition, Oracle was able to integrate PeopleSoft's technology into their own ERP software and continue to thrive in the industry.
Big News: Microsoft Takes Over GitHub in Billion-Dollar Deal
In one of the most expensive tech acquisitions to date, Microsoft has taken over GitHub for a whopping billion-dollar deal. As the largest host of open-source code in the world, this acquisition has solidified Microsoft's commitment to the open source community. With big plans for the popular code-sharing platform and its developer community, Microsoft aims to integrate GitHub into their cloud ecosystem and continue to support open source initiatives.
Intuit Takes Over Credit Karma: A Big Move in the Industry.
2020 TurboTax maker Intuit announced a big move in the industry by acquiring Credit Karma, a mobile payments provider, for $7.1 billion. However, this acquisition did not come without scrutiny as the Justice Department required Intuit to divest Credit Karma's tax business to address antitrust concerns in the tax preparation sector. This acquisition puts Intuit in a strong position to offer a one-stop-shop for personal finance management with their existing products and Credit Karma's user base.
The Notorious Merge: How HP and Compaq Joined Forces
In 2001, HP made the decision to buy computer manufacturer Compaq for a whopping $25 billion. This merger is widely considered as one of the worst tech mergers in history, as bad decisions led to disastrous consequences. Shareholders objected to the deal due to overlapping product lines and low profit margins in the traditional PC business.
The shifting markets also played a crucial role in this expensive misfire. After the merged HP lost half of its value, Fiorina resigned from her position as CEO. To add insult to injury, HP made another costly acquisition - UK software company Autonomy - which ultimately resulted in a fraud lawsuit. In an effort to move on from this disaster, HP ultimately sold their electronic data systems (EDS) unit to Micro Focus. Overall, the notorious merge highlighted how even a long list of accomplishments cannot guarantee success when entering new markets or partnering with unfamiliar companies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Did Salesforce buy slack?
Yes, Salesforce bought Slack for $27.7 billion in December 2020 to expand its customer relationship management (CRM) platform and compete with Microsoft Teams.
When did Salesforce buy slack?
Salesforce bought Slack on December 1, 2020, for $27.7 billion.
What is the biggest tech acquisition of all time?
The biggest tech acquisition of all time was when Dell acquired EMC for $67 billion in 2016.
What are the worst tech mergers and acquisitions?
Some of the worst tech mergers and acquisitions include AOL-Time Warner, HP-Compaq, and Microsoft-Nokia due to various reasons such as cultural clashes, lack of synergy, and poor strategic planning.
What is the biggest disappointment in corporate acquisition history?
The biggest disappointment in corporate acquisition history is considered to be the AOL and Time Warner merger in 2000, which resulted in a loss of $99 billion and failed to achieve its intended goals.