This morning Apple announced that they have agreed to acquire AuthenTec, a US-based provider of mobile and network security, for a fee in the region of USD 355m. This deal will be the fourth acquisition that Apple has made in 2012, having already snapped up Chomp Inc, Anonit Technologies and Redmatica Srl’s digital software activities. Whilst Apple didn’t acquire anyone in 2011, this year’s deal activity follows on the back of another buying spree in 2010, where the company made five acquisitions over an 8-month period. AuthenTec lists Samsung among its customers on its website, and given the ongoing issues between Samsung and Apple over alleged patent infringements it will be interesting to see whether the takeover impacts upon AuthenTec and Samsung’s relationship.
At USD 355m this would be one of Apple's larger acquisitions, but it still leaves a substantial amount in the war chest for future purchases. As is fairly typical of Apple there are no clues in either company’s SEC filings as to what the firm intends to do with the technology they are buying. However this year has seen murmurings on selected websites and in industry press suggesting that Apple’s security isn’t quite at the standard they would have you believe, so one would have to think that therein lies the logic behind this particular deal.