NYT: Adobe and Microsoft discussed merger


— 9:29 AM on October 8, 2010

Could we eventually see Microsoft Flash and Microsoft Photoshop? Believe it or not, Microsoft acquiring Adobe was among the topics discussed in a meeting between the two companies' CEOs—at least according to the New York Times, which was tipped off by "employees and consultants" involved or familiar with the talks.

The meeting, which lasted more than an hour, covered a number of topics, but one of the main thrusts of the discussion was Apple and its control of the mobile phone market and how the two companies could team up in the battle against Apple. A possible acquisition of Adobe by Microsoft were among the options.

The Times throws in an interesting detail. Quoting "another person with knowledge of the talks," it says Microsoft already approached Adobe about a merger "several years ago," but negotiations never became serious because of fears that antitrust regulators would get in the way. Microsoft gobbling up such a big player in the software industry would probably have raised red flags.

Today, however, the Times reckons Google and Apple make Microsoft look like less of an 800-lb gorilla. University of Chicago law professor Randal C. Picker chimed in to say "the technology landscape [is] drastically different now and . . . an acquisition or partnership of this nature would likely not be halted."

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