Saturday, May 03, 2008

I, Cringely . The Pulpit . Iron Man [speculation: Apple to acquire Adobe]| PBS

Read the full post for more context-setting .  ADBE would probably cost AAPL more than $25B, with a premium added to Adobe's current market cap, but I agree it'd be a sensible move -- assuming Apple wouldn't discount the utility of the Adobe Windows product line.

It seems obvious to me, however, that there is only one real reason why Apple would sell off its professional applications and that's to avoid antitrust problems when/if Apple buys Adobe Systems as I predicted at the beginning of the year. Final Cut Pro competes directly with Adobe Premiere. While in my opinion the Apple video software is clearly better, Jobs couldn't be at NAB trying to sell Premiere -- software he doesn't yet own. Maybe there's a planned bait-and-switch, seeing who is interested in Final Cut then trying to shift them to Premiere.

The major point here is that Adobe is in play, or at least Apple thinks so. The company has plenty of cash and stock to do the deal and plenty of incentive, too. Apple's goal in acquiring Adobe would be to control first Flash and second Adobe's emerging Air application platform. Adobe announced this week a broad industry initiative to extend Flash to mobile devices, but Apple wasn't a participant. Why bother if you intend to shortly own Flash outright?

Owning Flash and merging it with QuickTime would give Apple near-total dominance of Internet video, furthering the advantages of iTunes and shoring up in the process the iPod franchise. They'd be giving up a sports car in Final Cut Pro, but end up effectively owning the road instead.

I, Cringely . The Pulpit . Iron Man | PBS

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