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27 July 2012, 16:41

Apple buys mobile security specialist AuthenTec for $356M

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Earlier today Reuters reported that Apple is acquiring mobile security maker AuthenTec for $356 million. The report was confirmed later by an SEC filing by AuthenTec. The company has a wide portfolio of security products covering smart sensors, finger print reading, identity management, DRM and embedded security systems. The news sent AuthenTec's stock price from $5 to $8, around the price Apple is offering per share for the company.

AuthenTec's customers include Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Fujitsu, HBO, HP, Lenovo, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Orange, Samsung, Sky, and Texas Instruments. According to its web site, it has shipped over 100 million fingerprint sensors with some 20 million of those destined for mobile phones. One recent deal AuthenTec made was to supply VPN client software to Samsung for its range of Android phones. Apple has yet to comment on its plans for the acquisition.

The SEC filing notes that the companies are entering into an intellectual property licensing agreement in the run up to the merger; AuthenTec says it holds around 200 patents in the US and other jurisdictions. AllThingsD noted that one of the exhibits did disclose that "The Restricted Information may be used solely for the purpose of developing a 2D fingerprint sensor for Apple that is suitable for use in an Apple product".


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