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The 10 biggest tech deals and acquisitions of 2016

It wasn’t just a crazy year for prominent people dying, as 2016 played host to some rather noteworthy tech deals and acquisitions as well.

We take a look at some of the notable acquisitions to be announced in 2016. Have we missed any big tech acquisitions announced in 2016? Let us know in the comments below.

AT&T set for Time Warner acquisition (US$85-billion)

One of the most high-profile announcements of 2016 was the news that AT&T would be acquiring fellow telecommunications giant Time Warner. The figure? A cool US$85-billion.

There has been widespread opposition to the acquisition, so it’s not quite a certainty that the deal will go through just yet. If all goes to plan, the deal will close by the end of 2017.

Qualcomm to grab NXP (US$47-billion)

Chipmaker Qualcomm has also been on a warpath in 2016, announcing plans to acquire NXP in a deal valued at US$47-billion.

NXP is a leader in the automotive field, making semiconductor tech and other products in the sector. In other words, Qualcomm is making an even bigger push into the automotive space than you think.

Softbank buys chip powerhouse ARM (US$32-billion)

It’s been a year of deals for Softbank, but its decision to buy British chipmaker ARM is easily its biggest deal of 2016.

It makes for an interesting purchase for the Japanese company, but ARM is the biggest licensor of mobile processors around. After all, its designs and technology have been used in everything from Apple and Samsung to HTC and Nvidia devices.

Microsoft to buy LinkedIn (US$26-billion)

Another massive announcement took place earlier this year when Microsoft announced it would be buying LinkedIn in a rather big deal.

So what does Microsoft plan to do with the business-focused network? Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella mooted a few ideas at the time of the announcement.

“This combination will make it possible for new experiences such as a LinkedIn newsfeed that serves up articles based on the project you are working on and Office suggesting an expert to connect with via LinkedIn to help with a task you’re trying to complete.”

Oracle announces Netsuite acquisition (US$9.3-billion)

Tech colossus Oracle has a lot of money to throw around, doing just that by acquiring Netsuite earlier this year.

The deal means Oracle gains a big piece of the tasty cloud solution pie. It’s not the only buyout by Oracle this year, but it’s certainly the biggest by far.

Tencent buys Supercell (roughly US$8-billion)

Chinese internet colossus Tencent is no stranger to acquiring videogame properties and studios. Just ask Riot Games, creators of the League of Legends franchise.

It added another studio to its stable when it acquired over 80% of Clash of Clans developer Supercell from Softbank. The deal valued Supercell at just over US$10-billion.

Broadcom splashes out for Brocade (US$5.9-billion)

It seems like a year for silicon giants to spend cash, as Broadcom made a big play of its own for Brocade.

The deal sees Broadcom stepping up its presence in the networked storage space. However, it seems like Brocade will be spinning off recently acquired Ruckus as part of the deal.

Verizon buys Yahoo (US$4.8-billion)

AT&T may have been making the headlines but rival telecom firm Verizon didn’t sit on its hands either. Instead, the network moved to acquire the ailing Yahoo in a rather interesting deal.

The agreement sees Verizon grabbing everything but 3000 patents, Yahoo Japan, Yahoo’s cash pile and Alibaba. Verizon will integrate Yahoo’s operations with AOL (also owned by Verizon) to create a much bigger multimedia operation.

Symantec grabs Blue Coat (US$4.65-billion)

The security sector also saw some rumblings with the news that Symantec was acquiring fellow firm Blue Coat in a deal worth almost US$5-billion.

The combined operations look set to have a large enterprise security focus, with almost two-thirds of 2016’s revenue coming from the enterprise market.

Apollo buys Rackspace (US$4.3-billion)

Private equity firm Apollo also splashed out in a rather big way, taking Rackspace private earlier this year.

For the uninitiated, Rackspace is a “managed cloud computing” company, offering a variety of solutions to enterprise customers. It might not be “sexy”, but it’s certainly a big budget sector.

Author | Hadlee Simons

Hadlee Simons
Terrible puns make Hadlee Simons difficult to work with, but he brings over seven years of tech journalism experience to the table. When he's not at work or watching motorsport, he's in the foetal position on a jiu jitsu mat. More