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Autonomy Takes Over Blinkx, Plans London IPO

What do you know about Blinkx? It’s a video search engine with some cool algorithms, right?

Yep, that’s about all I knew of the company too.

Well, today it transpires that there was a mystery relationship between Blinkx and a company called Autonomy, and now Autonomy has exercised an option to buy the company and will take it public in the UK.

The UK-based Autonomy has exercised an option to take over the consumer site Blinkx (Blinkx founder and CEO Suranga Chandratillake—a former U.S. CTO of Autonomy—told Search Engine Watch in 2005 that Autonomy didn’t have any equity in the search site, but was only providing the search technology behind the service)….the site had about $10-12 million invested in it since it founded in 2003. With the takeover, Autonomy is spinning off its consumer division (the technology), merging it with Blinkx Inc (the video search site), renaming the two together as Blinkx, plc, and then will float them through an IPO on London’s AIM market in May. Autonomy plans to hold 10 percent of the demerged unit after the listing.

DoubleClick Claims Not to Own Any Client Data

While efforts are underway to block Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick, the search giant is trying to downplay how it plans to use DoubleClick customer data.

Meanwhile, DoubleClick’s revealed that it doesn’t actually have the right to do anything with their client’s data. According to CNET, DoubleClick issued a statement to that effect.

“Any and all information collected by DoubleClick is, and will remain, the property of the company’s clients. Ownership rights, like the other terms of DoubleClick’s client contracts, will be unaffected by any acquisition,” according to DoubleClick. “Further, Google would not be able to match its search data to the data collected by DoubleClick, as DoubleClick does not have the right to use its clients’ data for such purposes. By contract, DoubleClick has only the limited rights to use data for its aggregate reporting and to disclose data, if so required, to government authorities.”

Google Acquires Video Conferencing Company

There’s just no stopping Google. Seriously, if you’ve bought into the idea that Google is not a threat to your business, it’s time to re-evaluate that position.

Why so? Google has just announced their acquisition of Marratech, a video conferencing and collaboration company, which will now see them compete with the likes of WebEx.

Here’s how it works…

Is eBay Acquiring StumbleUpon?

UPDATE: eBay CEO, Meg Whitman was on CNBC this morning to discuss company earnings. She claimed they are “opportunistic with acquisitions, but have nothing on the docket right now.”

Both TechCrunch and GigaOm are reporting on rumors that popular toolbar social network StumbleUpon has signed a deal to be acquired by eBay. They’re suggesting a $45-50 million price tag and even suggesting AOL and Google had been in the running too.

It’s not the first time we’ve heard these rumors, but this time there are appears to be more detail – thought that doesn’t necessarily mean their more credible.

I’m not even going to call StumbleUpon for comment. I spoke with them earlier this week, and they didn’t mention it, so I doubt they’d comment now.

Google Acquires Tonic Systems; Promises PowerPoint Alternative by Summer

Google has announced the acquisition of Tonic Systems, which will help it to launch a PowerPoint competitor by the summer.

According to the official Google blog

Tonic, which we’ve just acquired, is based in San Francisco and Melbourne, Australia. They have some great technology for presentation creation and document conversion, and it will be a great addition as we add presentation sharing and collaboration capabilities to Google Docs & Spreadsheets.

Nathan managed to get hold of the following screenshot

When asked by John Battelle, at the Web 2.0 conference, if Google Docs & Spreadsheets would compete with Microsoft, CEO Eric Schmidt replied, “We don’t think so. It doesn’t have all the functionality, nor is it intended to have the functionality of products like Microsoft Office.”

Google-DoubleClick Deal Raising Lots of Questions

Do you think that perhaps Google expected some concerns over its acquisition of DoubleClick? Having handled PR and investor relations for a public company, I can tell you that you tend to announce negative news late on a Friday. This gives you time to assess the responses and hopefully see any negativity die down before the opening bell on Monday.

While Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick can’t really be classed as “bad” news, it is causing quite a stirr around the blogosphere.

First, we have Yahoo, AT&T and Microsoft suggesting that anti-trust regulators take a look at the deal.

“This proposed acquisition raises serious competition and privacy concerns in that it gives the Google-DoubleClick combination unprecedented control in the delivery of online advertising and access to a huge amount of consumer information by tracking what customers do online,” Smith said. “We think this merger deserves close scrutiny from regulatory authorities to ensure a competitive online-advertising market.”

Yahoo, Microsoft and AT&T Sour Grapes in Google, DoubleClick Deal

What is the best way to act, when you’ve been out-bid for DoubleClick by Google. You walk away with your head held high and at least keep your dignity, right?

Not if you’re Yahoo, Microsoft or AT&T you don’t. According to CNET, having lost out to Google, the three jilted-suitors are starting a campaign to push regulators to examine the $3.2 billion purchase of DoubleClick.

Although the companies have yet to file any formal objections with regulators in the U.S. or Europe, they are beginning to publicly voice their concerns, according to a source close to one of the companies…If the deal goes through, Google would account for 80 percent of the ads served up on the Internet, the source said.