Big M&A Update: AT&T, RingCentral, Windstream


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Two telecommunications giants sold off parts last month.

Technology companies wasted no time finalizing consolidation plans when the new year arrived. A number announced M&A in late 2018 but only recently made their deals official.

A bigger trend is corporations selling business units in order to focus on others. AT&T sold its colocation data centers, but a provision ensured its access to them. Windstream parted with a vestige of its EarthLink acquisition, ditching a consumer unit with the intention of doubling down on business customers.

Other companies bought desired technologies, such as machine learning and customer-engagement platforms.

Scroll through the slides below to get the full scoop.


The UCaaS provider bought the customer engagement platform Connect First.

RingCentral now stables Connect First in its customer-engagement portfolio, which already included inbound communications and digital customer engagement. Connect First provides outbound/blended customer interactions for midsize and enterprise businesses.

The companies didn't disclose the terms of the deal but said it will likely close in the first quarter.

Learn more about Connect First.

AT&T sold 31 colocation data centers, but never fear — it remains connected to them through a partnership.

Evoque Data Center Solutions, which Brookfield Infrastructure owns, assumed control over the data centers after a $1.1 billion sale. AT&T and Evoque signed an alliance as part of the transaction, meaning that AT&T customers can still benefit from the facilities.

Todd Weiss wrote the story.

The CLEC divested a large chunk of EarthLink in order to focus on "core" competencies.

Windstream sold the legacy EarthLink consumer internet business, which includes internet access, web design and hosting, and email services, for $330 million. Trive Capital was the purchaser.

The move should help the company focus even more on business services

Edward Gately has the story.

The federal government shutdown stuck a month's delay into the proposed merger of the third and fourth largest U.S. carriers.

Telecom giants T-Mobile and Sprint have plans to merge in a $26 billion deal, but the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) could put a stop to the agreement. The FCC was on the 84th day of its 180-day review timeline when it had to shutter the majority of its operations in the midst of a Capital Hill appropriations battle. The "clock" stopped Jan. 2.

Ultimately, furloughed FCC workers returned to work at the end of January, and the timeline is now on day 100.

Recap the shutdown's ramifications for the telecommunications industry.
Check Point

Check Point Software Technologies bought a machine-learning company to develop the "next generation of security architecture."

Israel-based ForceNock Security uses machine learning in its web application and API protection (WAAP) solution. Check Point hasn't hinted at any new products yet, but simply said the new technology will integrate into its architecture.

Check Point also recently bought a security startup focused on public cloud services.

Get details on the deal.

Cloud Computing Concepts bought EtherneXt and now has access to its internet connectivity, colocation and managed services.

C3 has been expanding its service portfolio and recently added an SD-WAN solution. Buying EtherneXt increases C3's network reach and adds colocation services.

Learn more about the acquisition.

Sophos is buying cloud infrastructure security provider Avid Secure. The move bolsters its public cloud security portfolio.

Sophos provides protection for public cloud services like AWS, Azure and Google Cloud. AI-driven analytics and a DevSecOps platform are two key Avid Secure technologies that Sophos will acquire.

Read about the security purchase on Channel Futures.

Microsoft is improving its database capabilities with the purchase of Citus Data.

Financial details weren't disclosed, but the deal will aid Microsoft in deploying "highly scalable" Postgres databases. The move doesn't reflect any new initiatives, as Microsoft launched an Azure-hosted PostgreSQL database last spring.

For more information, read Todd Weiss' article.

The MSP-management solution provider upgraded its business-intelligence apparatus. 

Continuum partners get access to recently acquired BrightGauge's data management and reporting solutions. The deal also bolsters Continuum's internal research and development.

BrightGauge will keep its name and operate as a Continuum subsidiary. It had already been partnering with the vendor.

Get the lowdown on Continuum's purchase.

Former rivals Cloudera and Hortonworks buried the hatchet and merged.

The $5.2 billion deal they announced in October finally came to fruition. Cloudera wants to become the first enterprise data cloud provider using entirely open-source data — an "open-source powerhouse."

Lynn Haber has the story.

Two business-continuity management vendors joined forces.

Assurance Software and ClearView Continuity now comprise a single company offering two product lines. Both companies prepare customers' infrastructure for disasters, but Assurance has more of a North American focus and ClearView is more familiar with the United Kingdom and the rest of EMEA.

Read about the agreement.

The B2B payments company bought a provider of electronic bill presentment and payment offerings.

Several elements of the First Billing Services (FBS) solution will go into Paya's portal and application suite. FBS, which serves utility and government customers, benefits from Paya's capital while Paya "substantially increases" its portfolio.

Read what Paya's new CEO said.

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