A $1.2 billion takeover of Opera Software by a group of Chinese internet firms fell through on Monday after failing to get regulatory approval in time, sending the Norwegian browser firm’s shares to a seven-month low.
The deal needed a green light from the United States and China, and one firm in the Chinese consortium said U.S. privacy concerns would have led to an investigation into some of Opera’s products that risked delaying the acquisition for up to a year.
I wonder what Opera really has to offer at this point – and I don’t mean that as in, what does it have to offer as a browser to us as consumers, but what does it have to offer as a takeover target. I’m assuming the days of Opera Mini – which did well on things like the Wii – are over, so what’s the package, here?
In the latest version of Opera on Android, it is pushing itself as a more of a news aggregation reader. It collates headlines, gives you notifications of big news events, etc. In addition, it has really matured as a browser on Android. It is very slick, quick, and includes some nice features like data-saving modes, reading modes, etc. I have it installed not as my main browser (Chrome), but as a news reader.
As for the company, there is certainly a lot of talent, but I’m unsure of their worth in terms of products. As a life-long (their life, that is) user going back to the 16-bit days (purchased 3-4 licenses), on through project Magic (multi-platform), the all-in-one browser, and now the niche mobile tool, I think they are a great company that has navigated some difficult waters. I wish them success and, if nothing else, a good retirement!
For those of you on Android, give it another go as your second browser/news reader. I think you will like it.
And no, there is no astro-turfing here – unless they want to give me money, yay!
Opera has a brand recognition in the West that a Chinese company can exploit. Remember it is competing with safari, edge/ie, chrome and Firefox.
I think the American market in particular wouldn’t be willing to use a Chinese browser that pushes all traffic through their VPN. But branded as Opera many wouldn’t even question it.