Apple to Acquire Fingerprint ID Firm for $365 Million
July 30, 2012
Apple disclosed in a regulatory filing late last week it has agreed to acquire fingerprint identification technology provider AuthenTec Inc. for $356 million. Melbourne, Fla.-based AuthenTec manufactures fingerprint sensor technology that can be used in personal computers and mobile devices for identification authentication. Weekend speculation has centered on Apple using the company’s technology to authenticate mobile payment transactions, as it is employed for by AuthenTec in markets like Japan.
While Apple’s mobile payments intentions have been difficult to divine, fingerprint sensor technology could be a way to allay consumers’ security fears that still dog widespread adoption in the U.S. AuthenTec’s authentication features could be integrated into Apple’s iPads, iPhones and potentially as security measures for cloud-based services also.
Reports indicate Apple’s bid may not be high enough to stave off competing bids for AuthenTec, however. Analysts have speculated that Google and Samsung are potential rival bidders. The terms of Apple’s agreement with AuthenTec do not permit the Florida company to shop for offers, but do allow it to consider unsolicited bids.