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Booth’s bulletpoint bulletin

ICT industry consultant Paul Booth keeps you abreast of the deals and developments in the local and international space. 

 

 International deals


• Accenture has bought Arca, a Spanish engineering services company, Real Protect, a privately held Brazil-based provider of managed security and cyber defence services, and Wolox, an Argentinean cloudnative and agile development company. Accenture has also entered into an agreement to acquire End-to-End Analytics, a boutique analytics and data science consultancy, and has invested in TripleBlind, a data privacy and virtual clean room solution provider.


• Acronis purchased CyberLynx, a Luxembourg-based cybersecurity consultancy.


• Adobe has acquired Workfront, developer of a work management platform aimed at the marketing community, for $1.5 billion.


• Amazon has bought Wondery, a podcast startup.


• American Tower Corporation agreed to acquire InSite Wireless Group, which owns, operates and manages about 3 000 communications sites for $3.5 billion, and Telefonica’s Telxius division in Europe and Latin America for $9.41 billion.


• Aspen Technology has bought Camo Analytics AS, an industrial analytics firm based in Norway, and OptiPlant, a provider of AI-driven 3D conceptual design and engineering automation software.


• Atos has acquired Infidem, a Canada-based specialised cybersecurity consulting firm, and Motiv ICT Security, a managed security services provider in The Netherlands.


• Autodesk purchased Spacemaker, a Norwegian firm whose software is used by architects to create and evaluate buildings or urban developments ($240 million).


• Booz Allen Hamilton has invested in Tracepoint, a rapidly growing digital forensics and incident response company.


• Capgemini has acquired Australian digital services consultancy provider, RXP Services.


• Cisco has agreed to buy Acacia Communications for about $4.5 billion, about $1.9 billion more than a previous arrangement that was terminated in January. Cisco has also agreed to buy London-based IMImobile, a cloud communications software company ($730 million), Slido, the Slovakian company behind a tech platform used to interact with audiences during live video meetings and events, and plans to buy Dashbase for its logs and events analytics skills.


• Citrix Systems has agreed to buy Wrike, a provider of collaborative work management software ($2.25 billion).


• Cognizant acquired Inawisdom, a UK-based, privately held consultancy specialising in artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics.


• ConnectWise has acquired Perch Security and StratoZen, two cybersecurity firms focused on the MSP space.


• Descartes Systems Group acquired ShipTrack, a provider of e-commerce last-mile solutions.


• Eaton bought Tripp Lite, which supplies power quality products and connectivity solutions ($1.65 billion).


• F5 Networks plans to acquire Volterra, a four-year-old startup with an edge as a service platform ($500 million).


• Facebook purchased Kustomer, a startup specialising in customer service platforms and chatbots, for $1 billion.


• FireEye acquired Respond Software, a cybersecurity investigation automation startup.


• Fortinet acquired Panopta, a SaaS platform that provides full stack visibility and automated management of the health of an enterprise network.


• Francisco Partners purchased CDK Global’s automotive retail software solutions division ($1.45 billion), Forcepoint, a cybersecurity company, and Native Instruments, a provider of digital music hardware and software. It has also co-led a $145 million investment in cybersecurity company iboss.


• Garmin bought most of the assets of GEOS Worldwide and its subsidiaries, a provider of emergency monitoring and incident response services.


• GoDaddy is to acquire Poynt, an SME-focused payments firm.


• Google has completed its $2.1 billion acquisition of wearable device maker Fitbit, after receiving an EU antitrust approval, which sees it agreeing to restrictions on how it will use customers' health-related data. It has also bought Dataform, a UK startup that was building an operating system for data warehouses, and Actifio, a data management company.


• Honeywell has agreed to buy Sparta Systems, a provider of quality management software for $1.3 billion.


• Hyundai bought Softbank’s Boston Dynamics, a robot maker ($1.1 billion).


• IBM has acquired TruQua Enterprises, an IT services and consulting SAP development partner, Instana, an application performance monitoring and observability company, 7Summits, a leading Salesforce consultancy, Taos, a cloud professional and managed services provider, Expertus Technologies, a Canadian end-to-end digital payments solution provider, and Nordcloud, a European cloud implementation, application transformation and managed services company.


• IFS acquired Clevest Solutions, a provider of mobile workforce management and advanced network deployment solutions in the utilities vertical.


• Infobip has entered into a definitive agreement with Amdocs to acquire OpenMarket, a provider of mobile messaging solutions to enterprises ($300 million).


• Intel bought Cnvrg.io, an Israeli company that has built and operates a platform for data scientists to build and run machine learning models.


• Intel Capital and Qualcomm Ventures have led an investment in Israel's Cellwize Wireless Technologies, a provider of mobile network automation technology.


• Kaspersky Lab has acquired a stake in Nexway, an e-commerce and payment platform.


• Khoros purchased Topbox, an enterprise customer experience (CX) analytics software maker.


• Kyocera has concluded an agreement to acquire SLD Laser, which focuses on commercialisation of gallium nitride-based laser light sources.


• NCR bought Freshop, a grocery e-commerce solution provider, and made a definitive agreement to acquire Cardtronics, the ATM operator ($2.5 billion).


• Palo Alto Networks will acquire Expanse, an attack surface management vendor ($800 million).


• Qualcomm has purchased Nuvia, a chip startup founded by Apple veterans ($1.4 billion).


• Red Hat is to acquire developer of container and Kubernetes-native security StackRox.


• SAP has acquired Signavio, a player in the enterprise business process intelligence and process management space.


• Snap has bought Voca.ai, which builds AI-based voice assistants for customer support services, and Ariel AI, whose augmented reality can insert a 3D model of a human into a camera's view in real-time.

 

• Splunk has acquired Flowmill, a cloud network observability company with expertise in network performance monitoring.


• Tata Consultancy Services is acquiring Postbank Systems, which provides IT services to Deutsche Bank, and has agreed to acquire Pramerica Technology Services from insurance giant Prudential Financial.


• TechTarget bought The Enterprise Strategy Group, a provider of decision-support content based on user research and market analysis for global enterprise technology companies.


• Twitter acquired Revue, a platform that allows people to make editorial newsletters, and Breaker, a social broadcasting app.


• Veritas purchased HubStor, a provider of Backup-as-a-Service technology.


• Xerox acquired CareAR, an augmented reality support platform company.


• ZoomInfo acquired EverString, an AI-powered business-to-business data solutions provider.



International developments


• China's government has published draft rules aimed at preventing monopolistic behaviour by internet platforms, such as the Alibaba Group.


• AT&T has been sued for at least $1.35 billion by Network Apps, a company that has accused the telecommunications giant of stealing its patented ‘twinning’ technology, which lets smart devices respond to calls placed to a single phone number.



Big tech


• A group led by privacy activist Max Schrems has filed complaints with German and Spanish data protection authorities over Apple's online tracking tool, alleging that it allows iPhones to store users’ data without their consent, in breach of European law.


• Ericsson has filed a lawsuit in the US against Samsung in a dispute over royalty payments and patent licences.


• The European Union has charged Amazon with damaging retail competition, accusing it of using its size, power and data to give it an unfair advantage over smaller merchants that sell on its online platform.


• Regulations in Australia that force search and internet platforms that republish news content from Australian publishers continues to annoy Google and Facebook. Microsoft, meanwhile, has welcomed the new rules.


• A South Korean agency for protecting personal information has fined Facebook $6.06 million and sought a criminal investigation for providing users’ personal information to other operators without consent.


• Tech giants such as Facebook, Amazon and Google face fines of up to 6% of their revenue if they do not purge illegal content published on their platforms, according to proposed European Union regulations.


• US Federal regulators are ordering Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, TikTok’s parent and five other social media companies to provide detailed information on how they collect and use consumers’ personal data and how their practices affect children and teens.


• Russia has opened a case against Google for failing to remove banned content from its search engine.


• Texas and nine other states are suing Google, accusing it of working with Facebook in an unlawful manner that violated antitrust law to boost its already dominant online advertising business.


• The Turkish Competition Board has fined Google $26 million after ruling it was abusing its market dominance.


• VirnetX continues to pile up courtroom wins against Apple, as a jury ordered the tech giant to pay $502.8 million for violating VirnetX's patents for virtual private networks, and secure communications links in Apple's FaceTime video conferencing app.


• Facebook has accused Apple of engaging in anticompetitive practices, firing another shot in a months-long standoff between the two tech giants over Apple's planned privacy changes for iOS14.



Local deals


• African Infrastructure Investment Managers invested a minority equity stake in MetroFibre Networx, a South African open access fibre network operator.


• Alviva Holdings acquired Tarsus Technology Group from Investec for R184.5 million.


• Bytes Technology has been ‘decoupled’ from Altron and separately listed in London and Johannesburg.


• Andile Ngcaba’s Convergence Partners has bought Ctrack's Middle East and African operations.


• Rugged smartphone company Crosscall has signed a distribution agreement with Kemtek.


• Datatec’s Logicalis Group has acquired a 65% interest in iZeno, a specialist in digital transformation solutions based in Singapore.


• EOH is liquidating its business unit Nextec Advisory, and EOH Mthombo has entered into a share purchase agreement to dispose of 100% of MARS Holdings, together with its subsidiaries and associates (Syntell), to a consortium led by the current executive directors of Syntell (R211 million).


• Huge Group has made an offer in the region of R800 million to acquire software services firm Adapt IT.


• Naspers has made a R45 million investment in The Student Hub, an online learning platform.


• Telkom’s ICT services business BCX will spin off its datacentre business into another Telkom subsidiary, Gyro.


• Ukheshe has entered into an agreement to acquire Oltio, developer of the digital payments platform that supports Masterpass, Mastercard’s QR payment service in SA.



African developments


• Airtel Africa has announced plans to sell around 4 500 telecoms towers in a bid to accelerate the reduction of its $3.5 billion debt.


• The Ethiopian Communications Authority has announced that two new international telecommunications operators will enter the local market by April 2021.


• Fudo Security, a leader in privileged access management, has entered the African market through its partnership with DT Networks and DataTegra.


• Liquid Telecom has bought the MEA operations of Quattro Business Solutions, an official indirect cloud solution provider for Microsoft Dynamics.


• MultiChoice has acquired a 20% stake (R1.3 billion) in BetKing, a Nigerian online sports betting company.

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