Steve Ballmer (Microsoft) and Shantanu Narayen (Adobe) recently held a top-secret meeting about unseating Steve Jobs from his gilded throne of mobile domination.
The meeting – which lasted an hour – covered “a number” of topics, but reportedly focused on various ways to more effectively compete against Apple in the smartphone and tablet markets.
According to the New York Times, a possible acquisition of Adobe by Redmond was amongst the various options floated and discussed.
“One person familiar with the [talks] said the two [spoke] about the blockade that Steve Jobs had placed on Flash for its hand-held devices – and whether a partnership by Adobe and Microsoft could fend off Apple,” wrote Nick Bilton of the NYT.
“Another person with knowledge of the talks explained that [MS] had courted Adobe several years ago – but the deal never moved past informal talks as [Redmond] feared the DoJ would most likely block the acquisition on antitrust grounds.”
Nevertheless, Randal C. Picker, a law professor at the University of Chicago, told the NYT that the technology landscape had “drastically” changed – which could mean that such an acquisition or partnership would win a green light from antitrust officials.
“There’s not a question that the atmospherics of Microsoft are much more different that they were a decade ago,” said Picker.
“[And] I [certainly] think you could imagine Microsoft being a more aggressive purchaser in a world where they are no longer an 800-pound gorilla.”