8:05 AM -- Best Deal Maker was a surprisingly competitive field in this year's Leading Lights Awards.
Not only were there a lot of deals, there wasn't the usual Cisco Systems Inc. buying spree to dominate the category. We charted about a dozen strong possibilities before realizing we had to winnow it down.
Later in the week, we'll list the actual reasons for picking the actual finalists. But I thought it would be more fun to look at the biggest also-rans first. Here's who missed the cut.
AT&T/T-Mobile -- The deal might still get done, and it's taken AT&T Inc. a lot of handshakes and smiles (i.e., the making of deals) to get this far. But with the government suing to block the merger, AT&T is looking like a basketball player who just got slam-dunked upon. The game isn't over, but right now isn't the time to hand anybody an award.
The Nortel Patent Six -- From the beginning, I lobbied the other editors to include the tandem of Apple Inc., EMC Corp., Ericsson AB, Microsoft Corp., Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM) and Sony Corp.. They're the ones who acquired the Nortel Networks Ltd. trophy case of patents, arguably forcing Google's Motorola Mobility Inc. purchase.
But a six-company entry looked awkward. Cutting it down to two or three pack leaders didn't feel right. And how much dealing was involved? We don't have clarity on how conniving the companies had to be (or not) to get it assembled. It might have been: "Dudes, let's, like, all bid." "Dude. Whatever." In the end, we weren't comfortable highlighting this one.
Ericsson -- I put the Ericsson AB acquisition of Telcordia Technologies Inc. on the list early on, but as other ideas came up, this one faded. It was an important move, but other deals seemed bolder, or bigger, or just caught the imagination more.
So, what's so great about the dealmakers we did pick? We'll cover that later. Meanwhile, if you want to debate our choices, the message board is open.
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading