Thursday, January 07, 2010

Google Now Will Pay $133M for On2 -- $27M Than Before

I guess it pays to be a squeaky wheel ... literally.

As a direct result of On2 shareholder lawsuits to block the deal, Google now has agreed to pay $133 million -- rather than the previous $106 million -- to acquire codec technology company On2. That's a hefty $27 million premium (roughly 25%) from its earlier offer -- and it now includes a significant cash component. Here is the joint press release.

Of course, the deal still must obtain shareholder approval which is by no means a slam dunk, given the shareholder passion that was aroused by the earlier terms. Stay tuned -- the revised deal will come to a vote in mid-February.

CES 2009 From a Distance -- Strange ...

Each business year in the tech world generally ends with at least some semblance of pause and reflection. But, that abruptly ends when the New Year comes -- thanks to the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Ahh yes, nothing like ringing in the first business week of the year with long taxi lines, continuous meetings that require hop-scotching around Vegas hotels with any mode of transportation you can find, and perhaps a couple hours on the actual show floor to see thousands of booths.

I have been doing this annual tech rite of passage now for about 10 continuous years.

Not this year. This year, my esteemed team is taking the lead on CES with their feet on the ground.

Sounds great, eh? (I am originally from Minnesota, where "eh" comes standard equipment.)

Kind of "yes", kind of "no" actually. The best way to describe it is "strange." It is strange to be viewing CES from a distance. Not a "bad" kind of strange ... just, well, strange in a "something is different" kind of way.

To me, one of the most interesting observations from afar is simply how high CES's visibility and coverage are in the press -- it is a top story in the biggest names in the elite press corps. Sure, I always knew CES was a big story -- all the big tech names are there to unveil their own big stories -- but, I didn't realize how well-covered it is by the press.

And, this year, the elite press corps from the major media outlets seem to be concluding the same thing -- that the "big story" this year at CES is 3-D TV. From a distance, I agree that that is worthy of contention. But, a small footnote in those stories also deserves recognition, because it likely will be big, big, big too. What is that? Living room live communications a la live video chat. Think about it. Sitting back with your family on the couch (rather than huddled around a PC) calling your far away loved ones. Mark my words -- that will become a big deal.

Will I back to CES next year to kick-start New Year 2011? Perhaps. But, I also get to focus on all of the booths this way -- from afar -- because the thousands of press corps are doing the legwork for me. (And, I have a great team over here at Sorenson Media to do the rest ...)