Apple Inc. announced today that it will buy AuthenTec, a Florida-based fingerprint sensor and security technology company, for about $355 million, the Wall Street Journal reported. The publicly-traded AuthenTec develops fingerprint sensors and other security technology for computers and mobile devices.
AuthenTec is a rare acquisition for Apple, which tends to buy startups when it does buy companies, Reuters reported.
AuthenTec will supply Apple with fingerprint-authentication technology, security experts and a portfolio of patents, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Analysts speculated that Apple wants the fingerprint technology, currently used in mobile phones in Japan for authentication of payments made with cellphones, to help Apple develop the mobile payment concept in the US, Reuters reported.
"To have security behind it would give people peace of mind. It could be a major differentiator for them," Charlie Anderson, an analyst for Doughterty & Co., told Reuters.
The deal awaits approval from AuthenTec’s shareholders as well as regulators, the Wall Street Journal reported. If the deal fails to win regulatory approval, Apple will pay AuthenTec $20 million.
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