What’s the biggest tech acquisition in history?


It may not be the most recognizable deal from this list, but Dell’s acquisition of enterprise storage company EMC for $67 billion in cash and stock stands as the tech industry’s largest buyout. This took place in 2015.

Nvidia acquisition of Arm in a transaction worth $40 billion is #2 in this list, marking one of the biggest semiconductor purchases in the multi-decade history of the chip business. The amazing irony is that this $40 billion dollar deal doesn’t involve any chips at all. Four years prior, Softbank had purchased Arm for nearly $32 billion.

Third place goes to renowned chipmaker Broadcom, which was scooped up by rival Avago Technologies in a cash and stock deal valued at $37 billion. In 2020, scrappy chipmaker AMD reached an agreement to purchase FPGA specialist Xilinx in an all-stock deal valued at $35 billion. That’s the fourth entry in our top 5 list.

To round up the top 5 deals in tech history, IBM acquired open-source software developer Red Hat for $34 billion. The deal took place in 2018, after IBM and Red Hat had been partners on enterprise-grade Linux for over 20 years.

Other high-profile acquisitions that have fell off the rankings in recent years include Microsoft’s purchase of LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in 2016. Also, HP’s takeover of Compaq in 2002 which was virtually tied with Facebook’s buyout of WhatsApp with both being ~$19 billion exchanges. And for completion’s sake, Google paid $12.5 billion for Motorola and sold it to Lenovo two years later for $2.9 billion — minus all those mobile patents they actually wanted for its Android ambitions.

You may be wondering why AOL’s buyout of Time Warner isn’t among the answers, considering it was a larger deal than any of those above. AOL paid $106 billion for Time Warner in 2000 — it was actually originally $165 billion but later reduced — however that acquisition is typically excluded from this sort of list because AOL and Time Warner are considered media companies more than tech companies.

Choose your answer. The correct choice and a brief explanation will show below. Content is intentionally upside down, so there’s no peeking before you answer.



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