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What's Adobe Up to This Time?

Plus, when you consider that Google (GOOG) is already a leader in this space, it doesn't bode well for optimism that Adobe can successfully establish a niche for itself. It's also possible that management may not entirely care about securing market share.

Given how well the company's cloud/subscription business is evolving, Adobe may also be looking at this for the long term -- building up its capabilities to be able to offer bundled services. From that standpoint, it's an excellent move, especially if published reports are correct, which suggest that this market can reach $12 billion.

I've also raised this point in the past: Digital cloud/marketing is an area that Apple (AAPL - Get Report) has always shown plenty of interest. I believe this is one of the reasons why earlier this year, Apple hired Kevin Lynch, who recently left Adobe where he was chief technology officer. Apple has begun to proclaim that it is a software/services company. How else can it substantiate this claim if not by buying Adobe?
[Read: <a target="blank" data-add-tracking="true" href="http://www.mainstreet.com/article/moneyinvesting/stocks-funds/investing-your-own-companys-stock"><em>Investing in Your Own Company's Stock?</em></a>]

Apple has competed with Adobe in several multimedia applications. But Apple's capabilities in this area pales in comparison to Adobe's to the respect level that Adobe has established with professional users of its Creative Suite.

Now, with advanced capabilities in Digital Cloud, Marketing, Analytics, Target etc., this new deal for Neolane also makes Adobe more interesting not only from and competitive standpoint, but also an a buyout candidate. I believe Apple as a buyer makes plenty of sense. I'm not saying that this is what Adobe's management is thinking. But if I were in their shoes these scenarios would certainly be in my thought process.

At the time of publication, the author was long AAPL.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Richard Saintvilus is a private investor with an information technology and engineering background and the founder and producer of the investor Web site Saint's Sense. He has been investing and trading for over 15 years. He employs conservative strategies in assessing equities and appraising value while minimizing downside risk. His decisions are based in part on management, growth prospects, return on equity and price-to-earnings as well as macroeconomic factors. He is an investor who seeks opportunities whether on the long or short side and believes in changing positions as information changes.
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