It Just Wasn't Meant To Be: 14 Acquisition Rumors That Never Panned Out

Rumor Has It

As Microsoft closed a $7.2 billion acquisition deal for Nokia earlier this month, prices for shares of BlackBerry stock shot up on rumors that it would be next. In the spirit of acquisition rumors, CRN rounded up a list of some of our favorite rumors from the past two years that turned out to be, well, rumors.


Rumored Buyer: Lenovo, Samsung, Microsoft, go private
Rumored To Be Acquired: BlackBerry
Approximate Date: March 2013 to present

As BlackBerry continues to struggle in a market dominated by mobile phone giants, rumors persist over who will purchase the company, if it will go private or simply disappear from the market altogether. Over the past few months, multiple companies have been rumored to be looking into the Canadian smartphone company, most recently after Microsoft's purchase of Nokia in early September, but so far there have been no takers. BlackBerry stock jumped 5.29 percent on the same day Microsoft bought Nokia but overall continue to remain stagnant and low.

Nokia And Huawei

Rumored Buyer: Huawei
Rumored To Be Acquired: Nokia
Approximate Date: June 2013

After a company executive said Huawei was "open-minded" about purchasing the Finnish smartphone company to boost its presence in Europe and the U.S., rumors abounded whether an acquisition would be on the horizon. There had been hints that, should Huawei buy Nokia, it would ditch the Windows model and move the ailing company to the Android market. Nokia shares jumped 4.6 percent on the news and Huawei's dropped slightly. It was just a rumor, though, as Nokia was purchased by Microsoft on Sept. 3.

Palo Alto Networks And Fortinet

Rumored Buyer: Cisco
Rumored To Be Acquired: Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet
Approximate Date: July 2013

After Cisco purchased SourceFire on July 23 for $2.7 billion, rumors popped up that other network security companies, Palo Alto Networks or Fortinet might be next. Investors remained cautious about the news, however, and stocks barely bumped on the news for Palo Alto Networks and dipped imperceptibly for Fortinet.

Akamai Technologies And Google

Rumored Buyer: Google
Rumored To Be Acquired: Akamai Technologies
Approximate Date: October 2011

Shares of Akamai Technologies jumped as much as 17 percent on reports from unidentified analysts that the company was in the final stages of a Google acquisition agreement. Other speculated buyers for the company included Verizon and IBM. The rumors were disproved within days.


Rumored Buyer: ZTE, Huawei, Lenovo
Rumored To Be Acquired: HTC
Approximate Date: August 2013

After Google completed its purchase of Motorola, rumors started up that cellphone companies would be next, and HTC was no exception. In August, a reporter pushed an HTC executive on the sale issue, catapulting rumors to the forefront. The news slowed a two-month downward slide of HTC's stock, in which the company lost close to 50 percent of its share value. While the rumors currently remain unfounded, HTC's future has yet to be determined.

EMC And Oracle

Rumored Buyer: Oracle
Rumored To Be Acquired: EMC
Approximate Date: October 2010

After an analyst report that put EMC on a possible list of acquisitions by Oracle, rumors grew on speculation that an acquisition was on the horizon. EMC shares went up approximately 5 percent, reports said, but went flat shortly afterward. Because of the high share price of EMC, Oracle's shortage of cash and EMC's large stage in VMware, the rumors quickly fizzled as it proved to be an unrealistic move.


Rumored Buyer: EMC
Rumored To Be Acquired: Juniper
Approximate Date: October 2012 through February 2013

After a round of layoffs in October 2012, rumors swirled that Juniper was cutting the company down to prepare for a sale, with potentially interested buyer EMC. The company was rumored to be trying to sell off its enterprise assets through the end of 2012 but was unable to find a suitable buyer. Shares dropped more than 12 percent over the four days following the news on layoffs and a possible sale.

Microsoft And Adobe

Rumored Buyer: Microsoft
Rumored To Be Acquired: Adobe
Approximate Date: October 2010

In response to growing concern over competition with Apple, rumors surfaced that Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer was looking to acquire Adobe after reports of a secret meeting held between company top executives. The two companies shared a common enemy in Apple as Apple CEO Steve Jobs discouraged the Adobe Flash Player in Apple applications. Adobe stock spiked more than 11 percent on the news.

VMware And Novell

Rumored Buyer: VMware
Rumored To Be Acquired: Novell
Approximate Date: September 2010

In mid-September 2010, reports emerged that VMware was in talks with Novell to purchase its SUSE Linux operating system business, with other companies trying to get their hands on the rest of the assets. Novell shares rose 6 percent on the news, reports said. In November, Novell announced that it had been bought by Attachmate for $2.2 billion, conditional on the purchase of a collection of company-held patents by Microsoft.

Apple And ARM

Rumored Buyer: Apple
Rumored To Be Acquired: ARM
Approximate Date: April 2010

Rumors swirled after secret meetings between Apple and AMD execs in 2010 over a possible ARM acquisition, one of the makers of the chips that went into many iPads, iPhones and iPod touches. Rumors continued for more than a year but proved to be unfounded.

NetApp And IBM

Rumored Buyer: IBM
Rumored To Be Acquired: NetApp
Approximate Date: February 2013

Speculations began in February that NetApp may be a target of IBM's desire to expand. NetApp was an appealing target for IBM, which was looking to grow its cloud capabilities, plus many analysts at the time were stating that the stock was undervalued given NetApp's revenues and margins.

Fusion-io And Seagate

Rumored Buyer: Seagate
Rumored To Be Acquired: Fusion-io
Approximate Date: Ongoing

After Western Digital bought Virident Solutions in early September, speculation grew around a Fusion-io purchase by Seagate to help keep it in the flash-memory game. Fusion-io shares jumped close to 26 percent on the rumors, reports said. Seagate executives have said that the company is looking to acquire, but have not been more specific than that. Other reports put EMC as another potential interested party for Fusion-io.


Rumored Buyer: Apple, Qualcomm, Samsung
Rumored To Be Acquired: AMD
Approximate Date: August 2012, November 2012

In November 2012, AMD announced it was looking for a buyer after being forced to undergo another round of layoffs. After rumors floated in August 2012 that Qualcomm and Samsung may be interested in the chip maker, rumors in November surfaced about a possible Apple acquisition. From July 1 to Dec. 1, shares fell more than 60 percent over the uncertainty.


Rumored Buyer: Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft
Rumored To Be Acquired: Waze
Approximate Date: January to June 2013

Starting at the beginning of the year, rumors popped up over which company would be bidding for the popular mapping app. Bid rumors kicked off with Apple after the company dropped Google from its popular phones. Negotiations apparently reached advanced stages, but Apple was unwilling to offer enough money for the company. Later that year, Microsoft and Facebook were also rumored to be interested, with Facebook already a partner of the app through its social networking platform. However, Google officially closed a $1 billion deal for the company in June 2013.