On Deals Never Done

About three years ago, Cadence made a play for EDA competitor Mentor Graphics, an offer the latter never seriously considered. That move, coupled with sharply falling revenues, cost then Cadence CEO Mike Fister his job.

On Friday, the San Jose Mercury-Times reporter Steve Johnson asked current Cadence chief executive Lip-Bu Tan about that merger attempt. While Tan doesn’t specifically address that deal, his words are telling: “In general, industry consolidation is always good.”

It’s a bit frightening to consider a PCB CAD world with one major player taking up the lion’s share of the North America and European markets. (Zuken more than holds its own in its native Japan.) As we learned when AT&T dominated the phone equipment and services market, monopolies (or near monopolies) are the enemy of innovation. Let’s hope it never comes to that.

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association (pcea.net). He previously was editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He spent 21 years as vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversaw all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 30 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow