Looking to expand its synchronization capabilities, Palm Inc. plans to buy WeSync Inc., maker of group-information-sharing systems for handhelds based on the Palm OS. The cash-and-stock deal is valued at $40 million to $45 million.
WeSync?s software is used to wirelessly download, compare, and share structured information such as calendars, contact lists, and other databases. "This is an important step in our strategic roadmap," Palm CEO Carl Yankowski says.
Maybe, but acquisitions like this one could also present problems. "I would imagine [WeSync software] will make a neat feature on the Palm OS. The danger, of course, is you don?t want to start competing with your developer base and producing products that the third-party market would be selling," says Craig Mathias, an analyst with Farpoint Group. "The third-party developers are going to be the backbone of Palm for quite a long time."
The buyout is expected to be completed, pending shareholder and regulatory approval, by February. Founded three years ago, WeSync has 27 employees who will remain in Portland, Ore., after the acquisition.