Technology-focused acquisitions are an important complement to the firm’s internal product development efforts. There is considerable heterogeneity when comparing individual technology-focused acquisitions – especially with respect to acquisition timing and the deal value.
To resolve some of this heterogeneity the author introduces the novel distinction between performance- and functionality-focused acquisitions. He characterizes this distinction based on a theoretical analysis, a qualitative study, and turns to a sample of acquisitions in the field of artificial intelligence for the quantitative study.
There are two key findings. First, performance-focused acquisitions take place earlier in a target’s life cycle than functionality-focused ones. Second, the deal value is – at a comparable stage in a target’s life cycle – higher for performance-focused acquisitions.
This thesis is relevant for management scholars and managers alike: Scholars learn about the implications of the distinction between performance- and functionality-focused acquisitions on markets for technology. Managers gain insights into how this distinction may guide their strategic decision making.