A rumour making its way around the content delivery industry: Akamai Technologies (AKAM) offered to buy rival content delivery network Limelight Networks (LLNW) during their jury trial — perhaps twice — and was shot down. (Our source doesn’t have numbers.)
Why would Akamai offer to buy Limelight during the trial, which it ultimately won? It’s possible that Akamai thought it would lose the trial, now in the appeals process — pre-trial conditions sounded favourable for Limelight. And Akamai pulled a similar stunt in 2005, acquiring Speedera in the middle of a patent war for $130 million.
Will a deal happen now? Limelight’s in a weaker position today than it was a week ago, both legally and in its ability to win new deals. And an Akamai-Limelight combo could make strategic sense — the companies have obvious technology and sales synergies, and combined, they’d dominate the market with a huge lead over any rivals. Could that fly with anti-trust regulators? Different question.
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