Adobe CEO's Talk of Independence Dampens Microsoft Buyout Rumors -- or Does It?

adobe-microsft mergerAdobe's (ADBE) CEO Shantanu Narayen touted the software maker's growth prospects and expressed a desire to ride that potential as an independent company, dampening speculation of a Microsoft (MSFT) buyout, according to an interview with German publication Financial Times Deutschland. Over the past two weeks, Adobe's share price has been on a rocket ride, following a report in the New York Times that the companies' two CEOs had discussed a potential buyout.

Shares of Adobe were up in early morning trading Monday, though they have since come back down. Some investors may view Narayen's comments as a move to prompt Microsoft to consider a substantial premium to any bid it may offer -- rather than a brush off.

In the interview with the German publication, Narayen said (translated):
We place great value on our independence.

The growth opportunities for Adobe in our opinion, are so huge that we focus on opportunities as an independent company to perceive it.
Narayen went on to note that the company frequently meets with major technology titans, including Microsoft. He added Adobe needs to ensure its applications run smoothly on the Windows operating system.

According to the New York Times report, Microsoft had discussed a potential buyout of the company several years back, but fearing anti-trust regulators would strangle the deal, the two companies never pushed the discussions beyond an informal stage.

Nonetheless, the time appears right given the substantial lead Apple and Google are amassing with their mobile operating systems, neither of which embrace Adobe's flagship Flash or Microsoft's Silverlight. And with Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 operating system finally kicking off, now may be the best time to talk turkey with Adobe.

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