Tue, Feb 13, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Amazon paid US$90m for Blink

‘VERTICAL INTEGRATION’:The deal’s price tag, which was previously unknown, suggests that Amazon might use Blink’s chips in its products and not only sell them

Reuters, SAN FRANCISCO

Sources said the bid was competitive, and that compensation and incentives offered by Amazon pushed the deal’s value to about US$90 million.

Jacobson, who had no knowledge of the acquisition’s details, speculated that Amazon might apply the Blink team’s expertise to cameras in drones or in its new checkout-free stores.

The chips could give Amazon other advantages, too.

The proprietary chip design would make it harder for rival retailers to copy Amazon’s devices, said Matt Crowley, chief executive of Vesper Technologies Inc, a sensor and semiconductor company that makes microphones.

Now that Amazon owns its own chips, it can go straight to the manufacturers, cutting out intermediary chip designers such as Ambarella Inc, which has powered GoPro Inc products.

Amazon has a division called Annapurna Labs that makes an unrelated kind of chip and it was not clear which supplier it uses for chips that primarily process video.

“Vertical integration reduces cost,” Crowley said.

Digital video chips “are one of the more expensive components” in a camera, he said.

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