2006 Review: Broadband, Video Drive Telecom Deals


It was a whopper of a year for technology mergers and acquisitions – close to $600 billion, according to Dealogic. (via WSJ) For the fourth consecutive year, the telecom sector led the M&A activity, thanks to ongoing consolidation in the wake of turn-of-the-century meltdown. In 2006 it was AT&T-BellSouth merger (just approved by FCC); a year earlier it was Telefonica buying O2.

2006 was a hectic year for telecom and broadband mergers and acquisitions. Here is a list of some of the notable deals. The deal patterns indicate that Ericsson, Cisco, Motorola, Lucent-Alcatel are now the dominant equipment providers. They are increasingly shifting their business focus and trying to capture opportunities offered by the expansion of broadband and video networks.

(Huawei is missing from this list. The Chinese hardware vendor did partner with Nortel and bought DSLAM maker, Harbour networks for an undisclosed amounts of money.)

  • AT&T-BellSouth.
  • Lucent-Alcatel.
  • Cisco Systems-Scientific Atlanta, (also Arroyo.)
  • Ericsson-Marconi, Ericsson-RedBack Networks, $2.1 bilion.
  • Motorola bought Broadbus, Netopia, Kreatel, and TutSystems. They also bought Symbol Technologies and Good Technology.
  • The chip sector saw some hectic action as well.

    • Freescale Semiconductor went private in a $17.6 billion buyout led by Blackstone Group and other private equity investors.
    • Phillips Electronic’s chip division went private in a $10 billion-plus deal led by a KKR/Silver Lake consortium.
    • LSI Logic bought Agere Systems for $4 billion.


    Om Malik

    Motorola is a big equipment provider to the cable industry and has started selling equipment to telecoms with fttx plans. i think as their mobile handset business comes under pressure (mostly because growth market needs cheap low cost phones) they will look at their broadband business to fill in the gap. they might have been a subscale provider in the past, but i think they are going to become an increasingly important vendor.


    well, one small nit pick: motorola is a subscale equipment manufacturer. if you are talking about their mobile handset business, it is more a consumer electronics business than a telecom equipment (and it is a bad business – as the extra humpf it got from the razr lucky shot disappear the incompetence and all the warts associated with that sad company will come back to the surface.

    so, i would not count mot in that list of oems. maybe it could make sense to add huawei, which has sales similar or larger to mot’s networks division and much more runway to grow.


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