The events in the wide digital world are just reminding everyone how important merger and acquisitions (M&A) can be used to jump start innovation of integration of new capabilities in the dynamic digital world. In June we have seen another example of seismic shift:  AT&T’s $80 billion takeover of Time Warner has been given the green light from the USA Department of Justice. The deal is big and it promises to reshape much of the USA media landscape. But look closer and you can see many more deals, smaller but not less important in the Mobile Ecosystem.

Acquiring innovations in the Mobile Ecosystem

Let’s spend a minute to pause and look at some of markets where MEF members are acting, and how capability acquisitions are used there. In Mobile Content services we are also seeing new mixing capabilities across players. In June,  Syntonic the Australian company behind sponsored content services bought the Mobile Commerce Unit of Zenvia in Brasil. Syntonic will merge direct carrier billing integration with mobile operators with its advertising based services. In digital payments, Bango bought a data management company called Audiens in the first quarter of 2018.

Bango picked up new competencies in managing and presenting digital marketing information, tools that it sees as essential to increase the overall value of direct carrier billing. In the enterprise messaging area, there is a clear example of quick market changes. RealNetworks, the video players of the 1990s, has morphed to a player for enterprise messaging as well. RealNetworks entered M&A’s in music, gaming, VAS, and eventually found itself acquiring an Artificial Intelligence platform.

Artificial Intelligence has given Real a new way to approach the enterprise messaging markets applying big data computing to the messaging flows. The case of RealNetworks shows how a new capability can help to open completely new markets. Real is not the only player looking outside for innovation, in April CLX Communication bought Vehicle, a video messaging platform. Video is an important trend in digital, but one that has not yet reached maturity in the enterprise market. Among the many telco deals, we highlight Deutsche Telekom’s acquisition of an IoT enabler company from Israel, Axonize. This offers an orchestration tool to support the complex delivery chain in the IoT world.

It is too early to establish the impact of any single deal, but the trends are definitely food for thought: artificial intelligence, video messaging, digital marketing, advertising based services and IoT are all strong forces that are re-shaping our industries.

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