Google in the dock

The internet giant is facing the Washington district court over charges of unlawfully monopolising the online search space.
Paul Booth
By Paul Booth
Johannesburg, 02 Oct 2023
Paul Booth
Paul Booth

The Cisco/Splunk deal, ARM’s IPO, the EU ‘gamekeepers’ proposed legislation and Google’s anti-trust trial dominated the technology industry last month.

Key local news

  • AEEI has agreed to a disposal of its 30% stake in BTSA.
  • Frogfoot Networks acquires a portion of Surf4Life's FTTH network.
  • Hytera Communications, a global provider of professional communications technologies and solutions, has relocated its southern African headquarters to Johannesburg, with the new office servicing South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
  • Webafrica has agreed to buy Mweb, one of SA’s largest and oldest internet service providers.
  • The appointments of new CEOs/MDs at BankservAfrica, Kura SA, Naspers (interim), Prosus (interim) and The Argility Technology Group.

Key African news

  • Axiz has announced its strategic entry into Madagascar.
  • MTN announced that American Tower Corporation will take over its Nigerian tower operations from IHS Holding from 2025.
  • Seiko Epson has established a new sales company, Epson Middle East FZCO, reflecting the potential to accelerate expansion in key markets, including Africa, Caucasia, Central Asia, the Middle East, Moldova, Turkey and Ukraine, centrally managed from a regional office in Dubai.
  • Vertiv is opening a new Nigerian office.
  • The appointments of new CEOs/MDs, etc, at Bayobab Group's business in Cote d'Ivoire, Epsom EME, Exclusive Networks, Google, Hitachi Vantara and Kaspersky.

Key international news

  • 1Bridge, an India-based social tech platform, acquired the technology assets of India-based eSamudaay, a start-up that creates local e-commerce networks in smaller towns.
  • Accenture bought UK-based Nautilus Consulting, a digital healthcare firm specialising in electronic patient record solutions, and it made an investment in Open Cosmos, a space technology company that focuses on the design, manufacturing and integration of satellites.
  • AddSecure purchased the Clifford Group, a multi-brand telematics company in the Benelux.

TikTok has been fined €345 million for breaching privacy laws regarding the processing of children's personal data in the European Union.

  • Allient (formerly known as Allied Motion Technologies) acquired Sierramotion, a privately owned company specialising in designing and engineering turnkey motion components and mechatronic (mechanical, electrical and control) solutions for robotic, medical, industrial, defence, semiconductor and other precision applications.
  • Apexanalytix, a supply chain risk management data, software and services provider, bought Darkbeam, a cyber security company.
  • Arcapita purchased The DataFlow Group, an identity verification and compliance provider.
  • Capgemini acquired HDL Design House, an independent provider of silicon design and verification services in Europe.
  • Check Point Software Technologies bought Atmosec, an early-stage start-up that specialises in the rapid discovery and disconnection of malicious SaaS applications, preventing risky third-party SaaS communications and rectifying SaaS misconfigurations.
  • Concurrent Technologies, a specialist in the design and manufacture of high-end embedded computer solutions for critical applications, purchased Phillips Aerospace, a designer and manufacturer of rugged systems solutions.
  • Coretelligent acquired fellow MSP Advanced Network Products.
  • DoubleVerify bought Scibids Technology SAS, a global leader in AI-powered digital campaign optimisation.
  • The Evergreen Services Group acquired UK-based The Final Step, an MSP.
  • Fulcrum IT Partners bought F3 Technology Partners, a leader in cloud, data centre and automation/DevOps solutions.
  • Gemspring Capital Management purchased a majority interest in ClearCompany Holdings, a provider of human capital management software.
  • The ICG Group acquired Dutch telecoms towers business TripleA.
  • Indie Semiconductor, an autotech solutions innovator, bought privately held Exalos, a Swiss photonics company specialising in the design of high-performance optical semiconductors.
  • Kaartech purchased Dunn Solutions Group, a customer experience solutions consultancy.
  • Neptune Retail Solutions acquired Quotient Technology, a digital promotions and media technology company for advertisers, retailers and consumers.
  • Netskope bought Kadiska, a digital experience monitoring firm.
  • nLighten, a European edge data centre platform, purchased UK-based Proximity Data Centres.
  • NoBlue2, a UK software company, acquired sector peer BrightBridge Solutions.
  • Razorpay, a full-stack payments and banking platform for businesses, bought India-based BillMe, a digital invoicing and customer engagement start-up.
  • Roblox purchased Speechly, which offers voice chat moderation, real-time transcription and voice API that lets companies add AI voice technology and voice interfaces to their products and experiences.
  • SAP acquired LeanIX, a software management company.
  • UK-based Sapphire, a cyber security solutions provider, bought Awen Collective, an operational technology cyber security software provider.
  • ServiceNow purchased the Toolbox OH&S assets from one of its ServiceNow Elite Partners, Enable Professional Services.
  • Stratascale acquired Vector0, an attack surface management provider.
  • TeleVox, provider of omnichannel digital patient engagement technology, bought the Odeza patient engagement business from Ensemble Health Partners, the revenue cycle management company for hospitals, health systems and physician practices.
  • WatchGuard Technologies purchased CyGlass Technology Services, a cloud and network-centric threat detection and response solutions provider.
  • American Software has signed an agreement for the sale of its IT consulting firm, The Proven Method to Marathon TS, an IT professional services firm.
  • Apple is buying Swedish classical music record label BIS Records.
  • Arlington Capital Partners has agreed to acquire Exostar, a leader in trusted, secure business collaboration in highly regulated industries including aerospace and defence, healthcare and life sciences.
  • Cadence Design Systems and CEVA, a licensor of wireless connectivity and smart sensing technologies, have entered into a definitive agreement for Cadence to acquire Intrinsix Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CEVA and a provider of design engineering solutions.
  • Camtek has entered into an agreement for the acquisition of the FormFactor FRT Metrology business ($100 million).
  • Capgemini has signed an agreement for the acquisition of the Financial Crime Compliance division of Exiger, a global financial crime practice.
  • Cellnex, a Spanish mobile phone tower operator, has sold a 49% stake in its Swedish and Danish units to infrastructure investor Stonepeak (€730 million).
  • Cisco Systems has agreed to buy cyber security firm Splunk ($28 billion).
  • CrowdStrike has agreed to acquire Bionic, the pioneer of application security posture management.
  • In its latest crackdown on ‘big tech’, the EU Commission has designated 22 services of six major tech companies as "gatekeepers" of online services providing messaging to video sharing. The firms are Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, Microsoft and TikTok owner ByteDance. Under the DMA, which came into force in November 2022, companies with more than 45 million monthly active users and a market capitalisation of €75 billion are considered gatekeepers, providing a core platform service. Businesses labelled as such will be required to make their messaging apps interoperate with rivals and let users decide which apps to pre-install on their devices. The companies will have six months to demonstrate their compliance with their obligations and can be fined up to 10% of their annual global turnover for DMA violations.
  • The European Commission has re-imposed a fine of €376.36 million on Intel for a previously established abuse of its dominant position in the market for computer chips.
  • Exclusive Networks has signed an agreement to acquire Ingecom, a VAD specialising in cyber security and cyber intelligence solutions.
  • The Federal Trade Commission has filed an anti-trust suit against Amazon, alleging its dominant online retail store is illegally monopolising two markets.
  • Genasys has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Evertel Technologies, a cross-agency collaboration platform for public safety.
  • GI Partners has agreed to acquire UK-based internet provider ASK4.
  • GigaCloud Technology has entered into a definitive agreement as the stalking horse bidder to acquire substantially all the assets of Noble House Home Furnishings and certain of its affiliates in connection with Noble House’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Google is facing the Washington district court over charges of unlawfully monopolising the online search space, which is the first of its type to go to trial since Microsoft stood accused of similar practice more than two decades ago.
  • IK Partners has taken a co-controlling stake in French metrology technology company Metrology & Monitoring Solutions Group.
  • Intel has agreed to sell a stake of about 10% in the IMS Nanofabrication business to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.
  • Thoma Bravo-backed data analytics company JD Power has agreed to acquire the Autovista Group, a European and Australian automotive data provider.
  • KKR will acquire a 20% stake in Singtel’s regional data centre business, valued at S$5.5 billion.
  • Liberty Media Corporation has signed a definitive agreement to acquire QuintEvents, a global provider of official ticket, hospitality and travel experiences to many of the world’s most prominent sports and entertainment events.
  • Logility has signed a definitive agreement to buy Garvis, a visionary SaaS start-up that combines large language models (ChatGPT) with AI-native demand forecasting.
  • Macquarie Capital, IIF and Tiger Infrastructure Partners have jointly announced that Broadway Partners, Cadence Networks and SWS Broadband will all be merged into Voneus.
  • Italian trust software provider Namirial has agreed to acquire financial services digital solutions company Unimatica.
  • Nexfibre has announced it will acquire UK altnet Upp.
  • India-based Perfios, a B2B SaaS platform, has ‘acquihired’, an India-based open finance start-up and technology service provider catering to the needs of banks, fintech firms and other players in the financial ecosystem.
  • Phoenix Towers International has closed two deals allowing it to acquire 1 978 cell sites located in urban areas across France. These sites will be added to the more than 1 600 sites PTI already owns in France.
  • Playtika has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Innplay Labs, a mobile gaming studio based in Israel.
  • Salesforce plans to buy, a low-code platform that helps e-commerce companies build AI-powered customer service agents.
  • The Saudi Telecom Co is taking a 9.9% stake in Spain’s Telefonica SA for roughly $2.25 billion.
  • T-Mobile Netherlands has rebranded as Odido.
  • Tenable has reached an agreement to acquire cloud identity and permissions management start-up Ermetic ($265 million).
  • Thoma Bravo has agreed to purchase NextGen Healthcare, a healthcare solutions provider.
  • TikTok has been fined €345 million for breaching privacy laws regarding the processing of children's personal data in the European Union.
  • The $14 billion tender offer for Toshiba by Japan Industrial Partners has ended in success and paves the way for the embattled industrial conglomerate to go private.
  • Virgin Media O2 has struck a deal to acquire UK broadband provider Upp that oligarch-backed investment company LetterOne was forced to sell on national security grounds.
  • The more than $1.75 billion investment by Amazon in Anthropic, an AI start-up.
  • The €1.5 billion investment by AustralianSuper, a pension fund, in Vantage Data Centers' Europe, Middle East and Africa business.
  • The €300 million investment by ECI Partners in Commify, a business messaging company.
  • The Syndicate Group invested in Veza, a start-up focused on providing a better way to visualise identity security risks.
  • The $336 million investment by TPG in Denodo, a leader in data management.
  • The $273.68 million investment by several investors in Enflame, a Chinese AI chip start-up backed by Tencent.
  • The $200 million investment by several investors, including Astera Institute and Nvidia, in AI research lab Imbue.
  • The $110 million investment by several investors, including Microsoft, in d-Matrix, an AI chip start-up.
  • The $125 million investment by various investors, including Nvidia, in Enfabrica, a chip start-up working on networking chips for artificial intelligence data centres.
  • The $100 million investment by Warburg Pincus in Lithuanian VPN provider Nord Security.
  • The $150 million investment led by BOND in AlphaSense, a market intelligence platform start-up.
  • The $40 million investment led by CRV in Israeli cyber security firm Legit Security.
  • The $93 million investment led by Global Brain and Globis Capital Partners in Josys, a Japan-based SaaS and device management start-up.
  • The $100 million investment led by Iconiq Growth in Writer, which offers a generative AI platform for enterprises.
  • The $238 million investment led by LightSpeed Venture Partners in Israeli cyber security firm Cato Networks.
  • The $250 million investment led by Macquarie Capital in Voneus, the merged company of Broadway Partners, Cadence Networks and SWS Broadband.
  • The $57 million investment led by Portage in Israel’s ThetaRay, whose technology uses AI to identify financial cyber threats, such as money laundering, so users can act against suspicious transactions.
  • The $85 million investment led by SBI investment Company and joined by Pegasus Tech Ventures and Accenture in Mujin, a robotics start-up based in Japan.
  • The $500 million investment led by T Rowe Price in Databricks, a data analytics platform using AI.
  • The $150 million investment led by Vista Credit Partners in VideoAmp, an adtech firm.
  • The appointments of new CEOs at Afinity, Blue Origin, Denali Advanced Integration, GameStop, GAN, Infovista, Iomart, Pearson and Toast.
  • IPO filings from Cainiao Smart Logistics Network (Hong Kong) and Kokusai Electric (Tokyo).
  • IPOs/listings from ARM Holdings (Nasdaq), Doosan Robotics (South Korea), Fourth Paradigm (Hong Kong), Klaviyo (NYSE), Neusoft Xikang (Hong Kong), VS Media (Nasdaq) and ZX (Hong Kong).

Research results and predictions

  • According to Gartner, IT spending in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is forecast to accelerate in 2024, increasing 4% from 2023. MENA’s IT spending is projected to total $183.8 billion in 2024, up from $176.8 billion in 2023. In comparison, global IT spending is projected to total $5.1 trillion in 2024.
  • According to Gartner, worldwide end-user spending on security and risk management is projected to total $215 billion in 2024, an increase of 14.3% from 2023.
  • According to Grand View Research, the global cloud computing market size is expected to reach $1.55 trillion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 14.1% from 2023 to 2030.
  • According to Grand View Research, the global semiconductor memory market size is expected to reach $240.66 billion by 2030, expanding at a CAGR of 11.6% from 2023 to 2030.
  • According to IDC, southern Africa’s personal computing device market, which is made up of desktops, notebooks, workstations and tablets, declined 21.4% year-on-year in the first half of 2023.
  • According to IDC, total market revenue in the overall security appliance market grew 7.6% year-over-year in 2Q23 to more than $4.2 billion. This represents a $298 million increase compared to the same quarter in 2022. In the same period, security appliance shipments grew 22% year-over-year to 1.1 million units.
  • According to IDC, worldwide shipments of gaming monitors will grow 10.8% year-over-year in 2023, while gaming PCs are expected to decline 10.5%.
  • According to IDC, worldwide spending on ICT reached nearly $4.7 trillion in 2022 and is forecast to grow steadily through 2027, with a 5.7% compound annual growth rate.
  • According to IDC, Africa's smartphone market saw shipments grow 7.6% year-on-year in Q2 2023 to total 19.6 million units.

Stock markets changes

  • JSE All share index: Down 3.2%
  • FTSE100: Up 1.9%
  • DAX: Down 2.9%
  • NYSE (Dow): Down 3.8%
  • S&P 500: Down 5%
  • Nasdaq: Down 5.8%
  • Nikkei225: Down 2.6%
  • Hang Seng: Down 5.5%
  • Shanghai: Down 0.7%

Final word

The Software Report has unveiled its fourth annual Top 100 Software Companies. This awards publication has earned a reputation as the foremost authority on the best companies within the software industry. 

As always, the process of selecting involves carefully examining the feedback received from nominations and conducting in-depth research into a company's background, which includes publicly available information, as well as insights from platforms such as Glassdoor, G2, Capterra and other sources. 

Backed by a comprehensive approach, the Software Report considers a multitude of factors, including product functionality, customer satisfaction, corporate reputation, innovative capabilities, organisational depth, ESG involvement and long-term viability, among numerous other criteria. The top 10 companies are:

  • Alteryx
  • Cvent
  • IFS
  • Procore Technologies
  • Blackline
  • Adobe
  • Planview
  • Datadog
  • Applied Systems
  • Gainsight