Adobe announced Tuesday that it will acquire Omniture, an Orem, Utah-based web analytics company that graduated from the Inc. 5000 when in went public in 2006, for $1.8 billion. This valuation is based on Omniture's share price of $21.50.
"In some respects, this is really a combination of the art and science associated with delivery and monetization of content and media," says Paul Weiskopf, Adobe's senior VP of corporate development.
Weiskopf is referring to Adobe's many popular content creation tools such as Flash, Dreamweaver, and Photoshop, which, in combination with Omniture's technology, would allow businesses to monetize more efficiently by gauging how many people their online endeavors reach.
In a press release, Adobe's president and CEO Shantanu Narayen called the deal a "game changer for both Adobe and our customers," but some analytics experts are dubious.
"I'm not convinced that the two companies are a particularly good match," says Tony Byrne, founder of the vendor-neutral analyst firm CMS Watch. "It's a little bit like trying to put a V12 engine in a Volkswagen."
Byrne's qualms rest on a number of factors. He views Adobe and Omniture as having very different client bases, with the former selling everyman software to a broad range of consumers, and the latter delivering their product to a few thousand high-end customers. He also notes that web managers tell him they don't want to be locked into one analytics tool, which would be a likely result of this union of analytics and content production.
Byrne acknowledges however that Adobe likely has solid reasons for buying Omniture, but that this is a time for the companies' customers to be wary.
"The buyer usually has some very nice PowerPoints that talk about all kinds of wonderful things that are going to happen," Byrne says, "but the reality is a new owner brings new opportunities, but also potentially new risks."
Weiskopf downplayed Byrne's concerns saying, "I would expect that most of the customers [Adobe and Omniture] serve today are common as opposed to different," noting the company's successful integration of Macromedia, which it purchased for $3.4 billion in 2005.
As of press time, Omniture was unwilling to comment on the acquisition, but CEO Josh James said in the press release that the combination of the two companies will "bring new innovation to the market that improves content engagement, advertising effectiveness and the overall user experience, which will drive more advertising dollars online."