Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, recently met with his opposite number at Adobe, Shantanu Narayen, to talks about a number of issues, but according to the New York Times, Apple was the main item on the agenda.
“One person familiar with the discussion said the two companies had talked about the blockade that Apple’s chief executive, Steven P Jobs, had placed on Adobe’s Flash software for its hand-held devices and whether a partnership by Adobe and Microsoft could fend off Apple, which continues to grow at juggernaut speeds,” the NYT’s Bits blog reports.
“A possible acquisition of Adobe by Microsoft were among the options.”
Microsoft declined to comment on “rumours/speculation”, but Adobe confirmed that the meeting had taken place.
“The CEOs of the two companies do meet from time to time,” said Holly Campbell, senior director of Adobe’s corporate communications.
It’s not the first time that Microsoft has shown an interest in acquiring Adobe, but in the past its advances have been tempered by the knowledge that US regulators would likely block any deal as anti-competitive. That might not be the case now that Microsoft is no longer the dominant force it once was.
Wall Street welcomed the news, sending Adobe’s share price up 11.5%, but the Wall Street Journal’s Kara Swisher, says such excitement is premature.
“Microsoft and Adobe are not in talks about an acquisition,” she wrote on the All Things Digital blog. “According to numerous sources at both companies with whom I talked to today, it’s ‘nonsense’.”
If anyone’s going to buy Adobe, it will be Google, she adds.