As video-conferencing becomes more and more popular (face it, business travel is just so last century) more and more companies are getting in on the act. Latest to join the battlefield is computer peripherals company Logitech, who has just bought LifeSize, an Austin-based company that specializes in video-conferencing systems.
Logitech has evidently realized that, as built-in video cameras in gadgets become more ubiquitous, it needs to diversify into the actual gear and software needed to make teleporting video-conferencing reality—LifeSize makes simple, stand-alone products that allow HD teleconferencing at the click of a mouse. LifeSize CEO Craig Malloy says that the opportunity will "drive price points to the point that it's a no brainer for every office and conference room in the world."
Logitech makes a hot $1.9 billion in sales each year, and Malloy realizes that this is vital if a vertically-integrated company like LifeSize wants to grow. Nevertheless, Malloy is surprised that it was Logitech who came a-wooing—especially as he'd been in talks with Cisco and Polycom.
It's Cisco, however, who may be ruing the day that the talks didn't lead to anything more concrete. Their $3 million bid for video-conferencing firm Tandberg has hit stormy waters, with less than 10% of the Norwegian company's shareholders being in favor of the deal—Cisco's offer would give them an additional 25 per cent on top of the shares' current value, and it seems they will have to up their offer if they want to stay in the game.