Omniture’s stock is trading above Adobe’s $21.50 offer price, so the expectation seems to be that either Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE) will up its bid or someone may make a rival offer. One possible bidder: Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT). Analysts quoted in a Marketwatch piece note that Microsoft could use Omniture (NSDQ: OMTR) in its war with Google (NSDQ: GOOG) in order to compete with Google Analytics. But the article also cautions that Omniture had been on the block for several months, so Microsoft likely already had a chance to make an offer if it had wanted to.
Still, Microsoft certainly has the cash to make a bid — and it’s indicated it’s very willing to spend to boost its online efforts. CEO Steve Ballmer said earlier this year that the company was willing to invest 5 to 10 percent of its overall operating income on search for up to five years. Microsoft has been notably quiet on the acquisition front lately. It purchased only six companies during the first three quarters of the year, down from 15 during the same period a year ago.
As for web analytics, Microsoft announced in March that it would close its adCenter Analytics beta program — meaning it doesn’t have a general web analytics solution. Microsoft didn’t say why it was pulling the program, but it suggested that customers use other programs, including Omniture — a sign perhaps that it felt it could not compete in the space on its own.
A Microsoft spokeswoman says the company does not comment on “rumors or speculation.”