Apple Playstation?Apple's $51 billion or so in available cash plays into a lot more tech rumors this week. And one of them is that Apple is looking to purchase the Japanese consumer electronics giant, Sony.
Sony recently retired the Walkman line after 30 years, and denied recent rumors of a Sony PSP-based phone to compete with the Apple iPhone. Now new rumors are spreading that Apple is looking at Sony's share of the gaming market, among other things, as a reason to buy Sony. How it affects you: a deal between Apple and Sony would shake up the electronics and gaming industries, and would make Apple an even bigger contender in the entertainment market with Sony's movie studios and music holdings. It might make for some interesting content on the iTunes store. Reality check: Even less likely than Apple buying Facebook, this rumor is one of those things that people make up to make companies' stocks move.
Microsoft and Adobe to team up to kick Steve Jobs' reality distortion field. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen had a meeting recently, and the resulting rumors have made it to the New York Times. I've written here about the enmity that Adobe has for Apple, and there's little love lost between Microsoft and Apple either—despite the fact that Microsoft and Adobe are both leading software makers for the Mac, Apple's lock on the smartphone and mobile device market has both companies fuming about their exclusion from Apple's game. Employees and consultants speaking anonymously said that a Microsoft acquisition of Adobe was one thing that was discussed. How it affects you: If you take pictures, or make videos, websites or documents of any kind, Adobe's software is probably involved at some level. It would have a huge impact on the software market. but probably won't help Microsoft's Windows 7 Phone get any more market share. Reality check: A partnership is possible, but those happen all the time. And Adobe recently created a tool that lets its customers turn their Flash applications into web apps that work on the iPhone or any other HTML5 browser without Flash, so Adobe is splitting its bets.
Yahoo looks to clip some coupons. Remember Groupon, the social shopping site that I wrote about a few months ago? The rumor is that Yahoo is looking to acquire the company and its local social media marketing business for as much as $2 billion. But the latest reports are that Groupon has signed a global distribution deal with Groupon—embedding Groupon in every Yahoo site. How it affects you: Groupon offers daily limited discount offers that kick in when a certain number of people buy in. With Yahoo extending its reach, Groupon will likely be in your town soon if it isn't already, and could land you some cool deals. It could also shake up how restaurants, stores and services market on the web. Reality check: A buy is questionable, but the partnership looks like a done deal.