Acer and Gateway


So when I said recently that we need a good merger I really didn’t mean something as boring and unimportant as this Acer-Gateway deal. See here. Honestly, this is one of those deals where it’s like going to a wedding where the two ugliest losers you know are getting hitched. You’re happy for them, I guess. You’re glad they found each other. But you sure as fuck hope they don’t have kids.

The problem with the Acer-Gateway deal is it’s just not enough of a trainwreck. I mean, yes, it’s a lousy deal, and yes, it will end badly, but it’s just not spectacular enough. It’s a “boat anchor” deal, the kind where two shitty dying companies decide, for whatever reason, that they’ll have a better chance of floating if they tie themselves to one another. Like Lucent and Alcatel. Someday they’ll slip under the surface and quietly die, but nobody will even notice or care.

We still need a big palate-cleanser of a deal. Something big and robust and incredibly stupid, with at least one but preferably two very high-profile companies doing something really, really dumb. Dell and EMC. HP and Dell. Salesforce.com and NetSuite, followed by Oracle’s acquisition of the combined company. Yahoo and AOL. Microsoft and SAP. Maybe a “Dracula deal,” where a dying old company buys something new and young and hot in order to feed on its blood, like when Novell bought SuSE. Or a “prison sex deal,” like when Larry Ellison buys anything. Or a “three-card monty” deal, where Kleiner takes two of its failing companies and gets one to pay a huge premium for the other, thereby robbing Peter to pay Paul, and somehow KPCB makes money on the deal.

All I know is, Acer is buying Gateway, and I’m still bored. VCs, private equity guys, Joe Tucci, Michael Dell: Listen up. We need you.

Photo above is Acer founder and creator of Spider-Man, Stan Shih. (UPI Photo by ED SMEGMA.)