We met up with fine folks at Gateway last week to check out some of their upcoming wares. While they were happy to tell us about the top-secret products the company had in the offing, not a word was whispered hinting at yesterday's announcement that Taiwanese computer maker Acer has agreed to acquire Gateway, currently the No. 4-ranked PC vendor in the world.
News.com's Erica Ogg reports that the purchase price is $710 million--far less than the $7 billion the company was valued at when Compaq offered to buy it back in 1997.
J.T. Wang, Acer's chairman, says, "The acquisition of Gateway and its strong brand immediately completes Acer's global footprint, by strengthening our U.S. presence." The combined company will slide into the third-place slot on the list of global PC manufacturers, right behind HP and Dell.
It's worth noting that we've seen several systems from each vendor this year that we thought were excellent, including the Gateway T-6815, the E-265M, and the Acer Aspire 5920--but the well-constructed, reasonably priced Gateways couldn't compete with the flashy designs of the latest HP and Dell systems (although Dell's new colorful outlook seems to be causing production delays and angering customers), while Acer's inventive designs are just plain hard for shoppers to find--which is evident to anyone who has ever visited Acer's mess of a Web site.