Samsung buys audio and automotive giant Harman for 8 billion


Samsung has been pretty busy in the meeting rooms. The company today announced a massive deal to acquire Harman, a bonafide giant in the audio and automotive infotainment scene. The transaction will go down for $8 billion.

Here’s a quick list of what Samsung will absorb in the deal:

  • 8,000 employees across a dozen brands working on audio and internet of things
  • Top audio brands such as JBL, Harman-Kardon, Lexicon, Infinity, Bowers and Wilkins, and Bang and Olufsen
  • An automotive division which focuses on connected car infotainment systems

Samsung didn’t have many details on their immediate plans for the company just yet, with a plan to let them continue to operate as an independent subsidiary being in the cards. But one can dream.

For starters, Samsung could gain some two-pronged benefit for all their personal and home electronics products. The first prong would be on the actual technological front, with the company gaining access to high-quality audio technologies that they wouldn’t have to license from anyone else. It’s not that Samsung doesn’t already know audio, but this can only mean even better things from here on out.

The other side of it is the sheer branding value. Being able to market your smartphones and TVs with the “power of JBL” or “Harman/Kardon quality” (or something like that) would go over pretty well for the company.

Beyond sheer audio, this could be a big milestone for Samsung’s efforts to chew up a bigger chunk of the growing connected vehicle market. The company is already working on 5G-equipped systems and doing their own research on driverless vehicles behind the scenes, and Harmon is like to be a vital tie that helps bring it all together. For now, though, Samsung’s efforts will go into making sure the deal will actually close, an act which should be completed at some point in early 2017 if all goes well.

[via Samsung]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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