The planned $1.2bn acquisition of Opera’s ad business by a consortium of Chinese companies has fallen through.
Whilst shareholders had agreed to the deal, it seems that US authorities brought forward privacy concerns for Opera Mediaworks. Ultimately, the deal failed to get the approval of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States by Friday’s deadline.
One of the major concerns discussed were user privacy issues. The consortium would not just have acquired ad technology but also mobile audience data. This user data can be requested to be viewed by the Chinese government and that may have prompted the US government to reject the sale.
A restructured deal has since been presented. Now, the group will be purchasing Opera’s mobile and desktop browser as well as its apps and technology licensing business for $600m.
That means all of Opera’s consumer products will be acquired, but not the advertising business.
However, given that Opera’s ad business generated $117m during the first quarter last year and total revenue came in at $163.5m, the acquisition value seems a little over the top.