This morning, Samsung announced that it had acquired HARMAN to the tune of $8 billion. Samsung states that they will use the company’s relationships with automakers to further enter the connected auto sector. I’d imagine they’ll be happy to accept HARMAN’s large consumer audio division as well.
In the press release, Samsung calls HARMAN the “market leader in connected car solutions” and expects their expertise and relationships through the auto industry to be a major source of growth. Samsung is – obviously – well-versed in connected mobility, so this combination of a connected car with the rest of Samsung’s portfolio of products (like displays, semi-conductors, etc.) could make for a nice fit if indeed the car is the future.
Most of you probably know HARMAN from its consumer or “lifestyle” audio lines, though. We’re talking about Harman Kardon, JBL, Infinity, Bowers & Wilkins (only in cars), and Mark Levinson. While these will likely be important to Samsung, the press release announcing the acquisition was almost strictly focused on automotive goals. Still, Samsung did says that these audio brands will “greatly enhance the competitiveness of Samsung’s mobile, display, virtual reality and wearable products to deliver a fully differentiated audio and visual experience for customers.”
This is a big one.