The acquisition rampage continues!

The acquisition rampage continues!

That’s exactly what you do as a competing company. You’re either bought, because you don’t want to become oligopolistic or, you buy in order to keep competition low and become part of the oligopoly. It’s a natural move by 3D Systems.

FWIW mass acquisition list this is often a “we’ve run out of our own ideas” move.

That’s unfair. Acquisitions generally happen for one or more of three reasons - you want the customers (because customers are about relationships), you want the product/business (because you’re not doing it yourself, or you’re not doing it right, and time to market matters)… or you want the engineers - also known as a talent acquisition. Because specialists are rare, and sometimes the best way to get great people to work alongside you is to buy the vehicle those people built.

I’m guessing a combination of 2 and 3; in order for a good printer to stand above the crowd it’s going to need great tooling, and that needs great software.

Regardless @Gregory_Block none of the three reasons you described benefit the user of the product (I’d be happy to explain why if it’s not obvious).

Sure, because I genuinely don’t see it that way; acquisitions aren’t inherently bad for the acquirer or the acquiree. I think people imagine that everyone goes around acquiring businesses to shut them down, but that’s hugely wasteful of capital and generally a terrible corporate strategy.

No problem @Gregory_Block , I’ll break each item down in turn:

  1. “you want the customers…”

To this point you say “because customers are about relationships” and I couldn’t agree with you more. In this scenario the acquiring company cannot gain the customers by providing a product of superior value or quality, so they resort to buying the ground underneath them. Sometimes this goes OK at first because many consumers are unaware that the acquisition has occurred and if the acquiring company is smart enough to leave well enough alone, business continues with the profits simply being deposited in another groups of pockets. Unfortunately in most cases the acquiring company wants more out of these customers than the original company did and proceeds to “burn the brand” by incrementally decreasing product quality to increase profit margin, or by cross-breeding the original acquired product with other stillborn or obsolete products in order to move more of the acquiring companies catalog.

  1. “you want the product/business…”

In this case the acquiring company may already have a customer base demanding a product that the company is incapable of delivering with their current resources, and is also unable to acquire the necessary engineering talent to put a product together, so instead they buy up an existing company to extract the one thing that they need to keep their customers happy and rebrand it as their own. Since this is typically something the acquiring company couldn’t do on their own, they lack the interest or the capability to further develop the product and continue to keep it alive just enough to hold on to the customers who demanded it while they pair-down the acquisition to the bare minimum necessary to maintain the product.

  1. “you want the engineers…”

This is the most sinister form of aquisition (but perhaps I’m just biased :). In this case the aquiring company doesn’t have what it takes to bring the product to market, and isn’t capable of attracting the necissary talent to the company either so instead of addressing that problem, they essentially “enslave” the talent they need by again “buying the ground out from under them” in a variation of what happens to the customers in scenario #1. These engineers stay as long as they can out of love of the product or need of employ, but as the “profit maximization process” described in scenario #2 begins to take hold most of the best engineers move on and what’s left is the voice you hear on the other end of the phone when you call Peachtree tech support.

In closing I’ll point out the most likely scenario in this case, which is much simpler: the acquisition of the necessary intellectual property to strong-arm competitors (both commercial and non-commercial) and eliminate the need to compete on the grounds of value and quality.

Jesus. Someone really fucked you up. I’ve been on both ends of multiple acquisitions in my life and never had one turn out so awful.

They aren’t all awful. Many of them have been awesome. Your mileage clearly varies.

I liked your original response better @Gregory_Block ; this is boring, let’s talk about RepRaps :slight_smile: