Businessweek’s cover story this week is the Google-Apple rivalry, which takes place mostly in the mobile space (but also elsewhere). You’ll recall that Apple bought Ad firm Quattro after Google snapped up rival Admob before Apple could make an offer. That, according to Businessweek, was just the beginning. Apple has hired a mergers and acquisitions guy Adrian Perica from Goldman Sachs and is preparing to do some buying. Interestingly if Apple previously wanted to acquire a firm, they would do it “ad hoc”.
In the past, there was no organized M&A effort, say three former executives at the company. Instead, business chiefs were supposed to keep an eye out for deals and go to Jobs if they thought there was a beneficial one to be made. After getting Jobs’ O.K., the champion of the idea would pull together a team to make an overture, negotiate terms, and work through the administrative details.
Apple’s bidding process for companies is now a much smoother process as evidenced by the Lala and Quattro purchases.
BW’s Peter Burrows says that Apple’s got a plan that he’s gathered from sources “inside and outside the company”. It stands to reason that Apple, with its focus on apps and developers, can integrate advertising into the iPhone SDK, rather than have Google scoop up all of the ads on popular free apps.