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The Sinister Reason Why AT&T Acquired Ingenio

By Vinny Lingham.

I heard that Ingenio was acquired this morning by AT&T. So, the obvious angle is the synergies between Ingenio & AT&T – this seems like a great match on the surface. I mean, Google is doing Pay Per Call as well – and it’s definitely worth getting into that game, especially given that there are more mobile devices that access the Internet than desktop or laptop. AT&T obviously sees Google as a long term threat – especially with the latest issues surrounding wireless spectrum and Google’s push into mobile.

Well – I suspect this move is more sinister than it looks. I wrote a post on my personal blog a while back, detailing Ingenio’s Pay Per Call patents. If AT&T decided to use their legal muscle to enforce the patents, Google may be in for some more legal woes (re: DoubleClick). Do I think this is the sole reason that AT&T is acquiring Ingenio? No. Do I think it’s a major contributor – definitely! AT&T probably wants to own this space – and if so, must believe that this set of patents are the key to keeping out competition.

And no, I’m not a conspiracy theorist – but I do know that the telco’s are not going to watch the Google onslaught without at least throwing something at them. I think AT&T paid a pretty penny for Ingenio, and in part, probably for the patents – if this value was disclosed, it would tip their hand to Google…whoops – sorry!

About Vinny Lingham

Vinny is the CEO of Synthasite, a Web 2.0 publishing platform, that aims to revolutionize web publishing.