Who the heck owns a Palm anymore? In a sea of iPhones and Blackberries, Palms—once the industry’s leading smart phone—is all but extinct. But maybe Hewlett-Packard Co. sees something we don’t. H-P has announced it will buy Palm Inc., whose marketshare in smart phones hovers at a paltry 1.5 per cent, for about $1 billion (or, $5.70 a share). “It’s an opportunity for us to get into a very big market,” says H-P’s chief strategy officer Shane Robinson. This year, Palm Inc.’s share price has dropped more than 53 per cent, allowing H-P to scoop it up for a relatively small chunk of change. Palm Inc. will be merged with H-P’s personal-computer unit. The acquisition is the latest demonstration of an undeniable trend in the technology market: consolidation.
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