Is market consolidation a good thing…

Another mega deal is announced, this time between Adobe and Macromedia. Is that a good thing I wonder? The IT market likes these big mergers, but they never seem, from my perspective, to work out that well.

  • Compaq buy Digital – remember that, not the best story for Compaq so much so that:
  • HP buy Compaq – umm, and that wasn’t so great for HP.
  • IBM buy Lotus – where are their productivity tools now and even Notes is withering.
  • Novell buy WordPerfect – and a disaster ensues. Novell are fortunate to survive.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are loads of examples of large companies buying smaller companies that do work.

  • Microsoft buy Visio – Visio becomes the standard business diagramming tool.
  • Cisco buy all sorts of companies – and the small companies product becomes the standard.
  • CA keeps going by buying something – anything.

Recently we have the purchase of Veritas by Symatec – we’ll see, I reserve judgement on that one. And now Adobe and Macromedia. They may be in ‘similar’ fields and overlapping fields but are they in the same business, are they really the ones in a position to take on Microsoft. I’m not sure that the way to take on Microsoft is via one big company. I would take them on with lots of little companies. A bit more like gorilla warfare rather than power warfare. What is more likely to happen is that Adobe slow up Macromedia so that Microsoft will find it easier to catch up.

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